Alaskan project Ya Tseen announce album, Indian Yard, for release via Sub Pop on 30th April 2021 and share debut video for “Close the Distance”
On April 30th 2021, Sub Pop will release Indian Yard, the debut record from Sitka, Alaska project Ya Tseen. Band founder, Nicholas Galanin, is one of the most vital voices in contemporary art. His work spans sculpture, video, installation, photography, jewellery and music; advocating for Indigenous sovereignty, racial, social and environmental justice, for present, and future generations.
Indian Yard is a compelling document of humanity centered in an Indigenous perspective. Created by one of the world’s foremost Indigenous artists, the irrepressible Indian Yard is an intense illumination of feeling and interconnectedness. On the groups’ debut offering, "Close the Distance”, Galanin “reflects on the universal need for connection and the expression of desire across distances. The official video, directed by Stephan Gray (Shabazz Palaces “Dawn In Luxor,” “Deesse Du Sang”), extends beyond human experience to consider physical expressions of desire in biological, mechanical, and celestial forms."
Galanin began working on the record in 2017 while going back and forth between his home in Sitka and Juneau, Alaska where he was carving a totem pole. The album entwines falling in love and the birth of a child with the urgency of current social and environmental justice movements to tear down destructive systems and build anew. He shared the concepts with bandmates Zak D. Wass and Otis Calvin III and together they structured the album alongside longtime collaborator Benjamin Verdoes. Through sessions in Sitka and Seattle, a cast of brilliant friends—Shabazz Palaces, Nick Hakim, fellow Indigenous Alaskan singer and songwriter Qacung, to name a few—helped form Indian Yard into a cataract of intensely current pop wonders.
His debut as Ya Tseen (“be alive,” and a reference to his Tlingit name Yeil Ya Tseen) is Indian Yard, his first album for Sub Pop. Rich with emotional range and sharp awareness, Indian Yard explores love, desire, frustration, pain, revolution, and connection through magnetic expressions of an Indigenous mind and body. The lusty electro-soul cascade of “Close the Distance,” the lithe funk frolic of “Get Yourself Together,” the insistent weight of “Back in That Time,” sung in Yupik: These 11 tracks put Galanin, Ya Tseen, and Indigenous art at large in a current musical conversation with the likes of Moses Sumney and TV on the Radio, FKA Twigs, and James Blake.
Indian Yard is now available for preorder on CD/LP through Sub Pop, the U.K., and Europe will receive the standard LP on black vinyl. The deluxe packaging will include a 24-page hardcover LP-sized book with covers featuring a sci-fi landscape populated by a toddler wearing artist Merritt Johnson’s sculpture Mindset, a VR headset woven from sweetgrass. The interior art was designed by Galanin. This deluxe edition will be available while supplies last.