Three years removed from the late Polaris Music Prize long-listing of his Fireball LP, Greg MacPherson is set to wear a different musical hat in starting new band Figure Walking. Teaming up with drummer Rob Gardiner, the group will release their debut The Big Other through Disintegration Records on April 28.
Ten tracks in length, The Big Other is said to accomplish "the rare feat of presenting big ideas on a foundation of dance beats, electric guitar, and storytelling." Inspired by their surroundings in Winnipeg, MacPherson and Gardiner draw from social justice and criticism in writing the record, calling the band "our attempt as artists to focus on who we are in the present and to take ownership of what we're bringing into the world, with an eye on a better future."
The album's announcement comes alongside a first single in "Victorious," a three-chord political rock tune that the pair penned the following statement on:
It's ridiculous to believe that we're all born equal and that hard work alone can break cycles of poverty, violence, racism, and inequality. Written in 2013, Figure Walking started playing "Victorious" live in late 2014, shortly after a young Indigenous girl was found in a Winnipeg river, a victim of systemic racism, colonialism, and ultimately, murder. Her tragic, preventable death pushed many of us over the edge. As privileged, white men living in this part of the world, Figure Walking's members want desperately to be allies in bringing about a genuine, lasting change. We look to Indigenous people and people of colour for guidance and leadership. It's been encouraging to read the Truth and Reconciliation Report and its recommendations, to see the election of Manitoba's first Indigenous female member of the Legislative Assembly, to witness the Idle No More movement, to have a federal inquiry finally called into Canada's unthinkable legacy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, to see peoples and nations unified around protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Since 2014, we have seen many historically calloused and complacent people begin to acknowledge the need for change. "Victorious" is part of our own acknowledgement.
Read through the tracklisting below to hear "Victorious" in the player at the bottom of the page.
The Big Other:
3. The Country
4. Summer Haze
5. Blue World
8. Spring Thaw
10. Call Me Up