by Madeleine Chan
Indigenous Music Awards winner and JUNO nominee Drezus has teamed up with fellow Nehiyaw hip-hop artist and activist Dakota Bear for their latest single “Circles.” Following recent singles “Bless” and “Setbacks” from Drezus and Dakota Bear respectively, “Circles” is the kind of song you want when you’re chilling with your friends and shooting the breeze.
There’s almost a polite anger in their words, which speak on Indigenous struggle and its everyday toil. But it’s delivered through an infectious and catchy flow. The words aren’t wholly dreary, they’re calmed by the choral lyrics “I love me some commas / But love my community more” and other lines that express the supportive push against that struggle.
A piano track accompanying the laidback beat is a reminder of the circular motion the lyrics are talking about. It signifies the themes by creating dissonance in the repeating notes and rhythm — a nice flair amidst the otherwise still comfortable beat.
It’s a strength of both Drezus and Dakota Bear, taking a style of music that’s been messed around with a thousand times over and still making it fresh with engaging lyrics and beats. Together, it’s a whole new game.