Listen// Iskwe drops dark and heavy R&B

New single is politically charge and musically intense.

Intensity comes in many forms, particularly within music where it could refer to hard-hitting instrumentation or lyrics that beat listeners emotionally. It’s still not clear where Iskwe‘s latest single Soldier falls on this scale.

The artist prides herself on her ability to craft, in her own words, “darker, deep-cut, bottom-heavy sounds”. And that’s exactly what we get on Soldier, delivered in the form of hard hitting lyrics imbued with political disenchantment, dark soulful R&B rhythms and electronic enhancements with hip hop breakbeats.

Sound intense? It should, because it is. Yet interestingly, this potent mix of darkness doesn’t come across too strongly. In fact, the song’s chorus diffuses much of the track’s intensity by raising everything into a refrain that almost, almost feels a little bit poppish.

Despite this, everything about this offering is borne of politics. Talking about her thinking behind the single, Iskwe stated, “While my music is undoubtedly a source of deep, personal strength for me, it is also a form of protest––protest against the continued hardships of the North American Indigenous community, protest against flippant legislature failing to protect our lands and waterways, and protest against fallout women face when speaking out on issues within the music industry.”

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