Imagine an AK-47 that shoots love. The notion is audacious, to say the least. But audacity is Digging Roots’ stock in trade. Juno-winning First Nations power couple Shoshona Kish and Raven Kanatakta have built their sound on a unique musical marriage of unvarnished truth and unconditional love. Digging Roots’ new song and video AK-47 has both, in spades.
AK-47 packs the punch of Digging Roots’ live anthem Hwy 17, adding the romantic optimism of For the Light, the title track of their most recent album. Like the latter video, AK-47 articulates an aesthetic deeply rooted in human love, but takes the approach to a new level.
Reminiscent of Beyonce’s “Lemonade” in its evocative visual language, AK-47 intertwines scenes of struggle and revival with colourful symbols of peace, love, and connection. Collaborator Sarain Carson-Fox appears throughout, in alternating avatars of jingle dancer, warrior, and activist.
Timed to coincide with Carson-Fox’s Vice documentary on Shoal Lake 40, AK-47 coincidentally arrives in the wake of the Pulse nightclub tragedy in Orlando—and just prior to a much anticipated appearance at Toronto’s world-famous Pride festival. The synchronicity simmers. “I just figured out the world’s problems,” begins the track; “people don’t make out enough.”
Echoing throughout with the beat of the Grandfather drum, burning with the fire of renewal, AK-47 engages Kish’s lilting vocal and Kanatakta’s searing guitar against the forces of darkness—and wins.