ASKO Announces New Self-Titled Album, Shares "nikâwîs"

The latest project from Marek Tyler lands this fall via Dine Alone Records

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Apr 16, 2024

Following making his label debut with "nisis" last month, ASKO — the new project from nêhiyawak drummer Marek Tyler — has announced a full-length album, previewed today by new single "nikâwîs."

The self-titled record arrives September 9 through Dine Alone Records. As per Tyler's bio, ASKO represents something of a deepening of nêhiyawak's Polaris Prize shortlisted 2019 album nipiy. "One of Tyler's advisors, Dale Awasis, explains that ASKO derives from the nêhiyaw foundational principle 'askôtowin,' which reflects the following action: we are taught to lead by following and weaving our existence into the web of creation we are a part of," Leanne Betasamosake Simpson writes.

Of the new single, ASKO said, "nikâwîs (aunt) câpân Harper told a story about family responsibilities. This summer, we lost our late aunt on Mom's side. As our uncle explains, to help our mom's sister take the next step, we refer to her not by name but by kâkî-kahwîsiyan (our late aunt on mom's side). Mom noted that after someone's passing, we don't refer to individuals by their name at all because kinship terms are used regularly. But nowadays, people will, after one year, preface the person's name with 'late-…'."

"Two years ago, kâkî-kahwîsiyan shared her story of dancing Fancy with me," he continued. "She said, 'When I danced, I tried to carve through the air like an eagle.' This song is for the aunties and nieces and their courage to dance, to be seen, be okimâw (the boss)."

Listen to "nikâwîs" below, where you'll also find the album tracklist.


1. nôkosiw
2. nikâwîs
3. nisis
4. wâhkôhtowin
5. sîsîkwan
6. enoksasant
7. pimohtêwin
8. sôhkisiw

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