If you thought Hiawatha, the founder of Iroquois confederacy, rose from the dead to live out his dreams in electronica, think again. This ‘Hiawatha’ is the project of David Psutka, also known as Egyptrixx, and a former Thrush Hermit, Ian McGettigan. Both striking musical figures in the Toronto scene, they started collaborating a while back and have always had a positive relationship through music.
Their first album, Language, is out now courtesy of Last Gang Records, the same label that launched Metric, Crystal Castles and MSTRKRFT. Psutka called the record “an exploration of pessimism and optimism; success and failure; concussion and tranquility.”
“I wrote the record when I was going through some heavy personal l things in my life, and they were on a similar line,” revealed Psutka. “They weren’t absolutely good, and they weren’t absolutely bad. I wanted to reflect that.“
Psultka previously collaborated with Canadian synth-pop band Trust, producing electronic music that can easily be put on for dance purposes. He debuted his solo material as Egyptrixx in March 2011 with the track “Bible Eyes.”
Halifax-born McGettigan is now a producer, but was the bassist and vocalist of now-defunct alt-rock band Thrush Hermit.Together, they are Hiawatha.
As for the classification of Hiawatha’s sound itself, Psutka doesn’t consider it an important subject or a necessary responsibility.
“Genres don’t ever really concern me, I understand there may be need for them for promotional material, but as a receiver and performer, genres don’t really matter at all,” said Psutka.
Although the project sounds like it has all the doings of what could be classified as electronic, Psutka and McGettigan recorded using the default rock tools: guitar, drums and keyboard. More often than not the joy of music is how differently it can be interpreted and manipulated when it is made and heard live in person.
Hiawatha will make its live debut this November at New York’s Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival.
Trial track: “Caring Less and Less To See and Know You”