Since forming in 2008, the world music collective known as Nahko and Medicine For The People have spread their infectious musical energy across the globe.
Throughout their decade long career, the outfit have released four studio albums that each brim with raw, earthy sounds. So ahead of the band’s appearance at next year’s Bluesfest, we’ve gathered five essential Nahko songs that you need to be across.
Ahead of their performance at next year’s Bluesfest, we’ve gathered five essential Nahko and Medicine For The People songs that you need to be across.
Following a tumultuous childhood, frontman Nahko Bear made the move from Oregon to Alaska as an adult. From here, he joined forces with his band Medicine For The People to conduct a musical exploration into his past.
This involved confronting some pretty heavy realities. The first musical output of this exploration was the band’s debut album Dark As Night.
Though instead of dwelling on the unfortunate circumstances of his past, Nahko utilised his debut album to present a brighter hope for the future. Perhaps no song encapsulates this better than Budding Trees.
Throughout the track, Nahko glides through uplifting instrumentation and infectiously positive lyrical content to present a song that’s guaranteed to make you smile.
Love Letters To God
Taken from the album Hoka, Love Letters To God encourages listeners to “always be open to your path and your journey,” no matter where it may take you.
It’s this theme of hop that has become a staple of Nahko’s music throughout the years. With a deeply addictive melody and building emotional power, this track is sure to stick with you long after it reaches the conclusion of its five-and-a-half minute duration.
On 7 Feathers, Nahko sings about his experiences meeting people from all walks of life… though ultimately, the track is about being yourself.
With layered guitars, sparse horns, and endearing vocal delivery, this track will pull you into each mini story Nahko weaves. “I know a business man, he scrapped his business plan while screaming ‘fuck the man’,” he sings.
Tus Pies (Your Feet)
Tus Pies (Your Feet) sees Nahko at possibly his most grounded. With a stunning string section that slowly weaves itself into the instrumentation, and intertwining guitar and piano lines, Tus Pies subtly builds into one of Nahko’s most cathartic songs.
By its conclusion, you’ll have been roped in completely to his earthy sounds.
Wash It Away
“We’re a part of something special,” Nahko sings on his single Wash It Away. “Stay Humble.”
Produced by former Beastie Boys producer Mario Caldato Jr, the track sees the artist dance through percussive guitar playing and spirited vocal delivery to deliver a song that’s guaranteed to warm your heart.
“Wash It Away is the story of movement unfolding in a humbled way,” Nahko says of the track. “The song tells the story of my first tour in Australia, a time of exponential growth for the band and myself as a storyteller.”
Catch Nahko and Medicine For The People live at Bluesfest 2019. More info here.