Nahko of Medicine for the People to Release Debut Solo Album 10/20
Nahko's debut solo album My Name Is Bear, set for release on Friday, October 20th, is a16-track collection that reflects the soul, authenticity and spirit that Nahko's fans have come to know. It features the single "Dragonfly" and ventures into decidedly more "rocking and personal territory," as Nahko puts it. In fact, much of My Name Is Bear is informed by a time in Nahko's life spent in search of and reconciling his reunion with his birth mom, who had given him up at the age of 15 after being thrust into unthinkable circumstances.
He did however, at the age of 21, find her, living remarkably just 15 minutes from his home. "I drove to her house and there she was," said Nahko. "She was crying, I was crying and consequently, as most of these songs were written between the age of 18 and 21, much of the spirit of My Name Is Bear is informed by this time in my life."
My Name Is Bear predates Nahko's rise to mythos among diehard fans of Medicine for the People. As he puts it, the album serves as a "prequel," that artfully merges rustic acoustic guitars, upbeat energy, tribal flavors, fiery percussion, and ponderous lyrics.
Its first single "Dragonfly" is accompanied by a music video that features Nahko's friend Paris Jackson. Fingerpicked acoustic guitar builds into an unshakable melody punctuated by an African-style beat and chirping birds as he carries the chant, "To my form of dragonfly, I resist and I survive."
"It's a coming of age tale that I wrote at 18," recalls Nahko. "It's a special one about following my heart in relation to a first love. We met in Alaska, and she had a similar story to my birth mother. I followed her to Louisiana and we spent four months in a house in the Deep South. It's a special piece for me about youthful transformation, which is why Paris fit the part in the video so perfectly."
Finger-snaps set the stage for a delicate and heartwarming narrative about the birth of his brother's first child on "Call Him By His Name." Strings underscore the emotional heft of the soulful ballad "Susanna," which relays the journey from home towards love. Meanwhile, the shimmering piano of "Alice" echoes with lively and lush melodies.
At the end of the day, My Name Is Bear sets the stage for a whole lot more from Nahko.
"I decided to make this album last year as the world was changing," he leaves off. "I know I could go deep on Medicine for the People, but I had to go back in time for myself, clean out the closet a little bit, and give listeners something that feels good, but makes them think. I hope in making them feel good for an hour; it makes them feel better."<
Nahko embarks on a full U.S. and European headline tour in support of My Name Is Bear, kicking off on October 18th in Boston. All tickets are on sale now: nahko.com/tour
To pre-order My Name Is Bear go to smarturl.it/Nahko