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New Orleans-based Nhktar explores gender and sex on 'Forest'

Experimental duo Nhktar captures an evocative range of emotions with atmospheric, cinematic, spellcasting that resists conventions of genre. Singer MaeDea ov Moon’s voice is fierce and profound, elevating songs through their exploration of ancestral realms with collaborator Sam Hollier. Taken from their debut, self-titled album, out November 20th, “Forest” sets off a nuanced journey to broaden the understanding that darkness is a rich place of rebirth.

Offering a spiritual death, this densely layered song speaks to the complexity of wounding and trauma and presents shapeshifting as a way to survive male socialized emotional violence. The nuanced lyrics and raw quality of MaeDea’s vocals culminate, rendering “Forest" as a force purging abusive systems through embodied ritual methodologies. The track also has a music video, which aims to highlight the transition from degradation to reclamation through the lush and fertile darkness which is our keeper.

“When actions echo destruction through your body, all you can do is make art from that. You can’t be silent because silence incites pain to grow louder,” Nhktar says.

Nhktar hails from New Orleans, where the cycles of birth, celebration, and death are woven into an ever-renewing tapestry. Coming from traveler bloodlines, Nhktar’s roots stretch across audible cartography that reverberates into a multidisciplinary web. They present an​ alchemy of transitional sounds building expansive soundscapes of non-binary exploration, infusing polystylism with performance art and poetry, layering loops of cello, voice and piano. Nhktar’s multi-faceted approach to composition acts as mediators to other worlds bringing performance and ritual together in a potent incantation.

Mixed and mastered by Riccardo Damian (Liam Gallagher, Mark Ronson) and Andrea Ghion along with Shawn Meyers on drums, their debut album is a sonic altar, seducing the listener to explore, expand, and broaden their perception of other worlds. It is an immersive journey planting seeds in queered expressions of sensual wisdom. Filmed in the hardwood flats and industrial zones of New Orleans with director Jessica Daugh and a crew of thirty-six artists, the album’s “micro-epics” carry us through into a new realm of humanhood where wisdom guides and transmutes as well.

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