Long Braided Hair is the second single from the band’s new album Warrior Down, available now on You’ve Changed Records.
Currently on tour in Ontario in support of Warrior Down, their debut for You’ve Changed Records, London/Hamilton’s Whoop-Szo will make their way to the east coast at the end of the month for shows in Moncton, Saint John, Halifax and Fredericton.
In advance of their visit to the east coast, Whoop-Szo have shared a new single from the album. Long Braided Hair is a heavy dose of reality from one of the most politically, culturally and community driven bands working in Canada today.
Bandleader Adam Sturgeon explains the story behind the song:
Our connection to the Earth Mother is through our hair, and it is our Mother who brings us to this earth. A Braid, three strands, mind, body and soul…. sweetgrass, hair of the earth.
I remember getting a call on the distant telephone wires from my bandmate Kirsten. She was up north. Winter was settling in hard and she was upset. That day, her students who had been out of control for some time dropped a heavy weight onto her privileged disposition. They were sleeping on and under desks and they were bouncing off the walls. They were upset, angry and unable to hide their emotions. Sometime earlier she had overheard some of the other teachers griping about how disrespectful the children were being, and how discipline was a necessary force to overcoming their challenging circumstances. How using their language was somehow related to the kids picking on each other and to speak French or English was to abide by the rules of the school. Kirsten, as she always does, slipped quietly out of the staff room without a word. When this had continued for several stressful days, perhaps weeks she asked the children ‘what’s wrong?’. They did not answer, but their eyes told another story. This continued, until finally one day they answered almost as if in unison ‘We’re hungry.’ You see, in the months previous a desperately needed breakfast program had been cancelled. By whom, I’m not sure. By the school board? By the volunteers who were burned out and moved back home to the south?
In our communities, it is our mothers and children that have bore the weight of colonialism. That our ways of life have been diminished by a system designed against us. A $7 can of pop, a $5 chocolate bar, and $9 bag of chips. A lullaby.
Warrior Down was released November 1.
Nov. 26 | Moncton, NB | The Caveau
Nov. 27 | Saint John, NB | Taco Pica
Nov. 28 | Halifax, NS | The Seahorse
Nov. 29 | Fredericton, NB | The Capital