“once the reaper” By Joe Rainey

This year, Pow Wow singer Joe Rainey released his debut album, Niineta, with 37d03d. Today, the artist has shared the single, “once the reaper,” via Psychic Hotline’s (Sylvan Esso) Singles Series. It’s a song of defiance, about confronting grief head-on, about fiercely guarding the memory of passed relatives. Rainey’s voice calls over noisy, stormy percussion, and unrelenting kick drum patterns provided by producer Andrew Broder. As the track continues, the song grows murkier with ghostly vocal samples.

“This song was created in the wake of Niineta,” explains Rainey. “‘once the reaper’ means when the reaper comes for me, who knows if I’ll have a chance to punch him for the people he took too soon. Hopefully I’ll have that chance to once the reaper.”

Joe Rainey demonstrates his command of the Pow Wow style, descending from Indigenous singing that’s been heard across the waters of what is now called Minnesota for centuries. Depending on the song or the pattern, his voice can celebrate or console, welcome or intimidate, wake you up with a start or lull your babies to sleep. Each note conveys a clear message, no matter the inflection: We’re still here. We were here before you were, and we never left.

“Taking is your making
Lost Souls maybe escaping
Took our brothers with no mistaking
When I see you in time
It won’t be so kind
Even though you’re our final teacher
I’ve always wanted to
once the reaper”

Joe Rainey 2022 Tour Dates:

Fri. Dec. 2 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room

Purchase “once the reaper” by Joe Rainey HERE


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