Zoon returns with ‘Astum’ single + video

Zoon press photo
Photo credit: Vanessa Heins

Zoon (Zoongide’ewin) the mesmerizing and meticulous shoegaze-inspired work of Daniel Monkman releases a new single and video for Astum (ft. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson). It is the first preview of new music since Zoon’s debut album ‘Bleached Wavves’ was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize. It precedes the forthcoming 5-track EP, ‘Big Pharma’ for release on June 21, 2022 – also National Indigenous Peoples Day. The EP is notable for its collaborations and features, expressly highlighting Zoon’s adept ability to experiment and constantly defy musical categorization.

Daniel explains the inspiration for the lead single and video. “‘Astum’ was the first Cree word that my late father, Glen Olsen, taught me as a child. It means ‘hurry up’ or ‘quickly’. He would walk in front of me and at the door say ‘Astum, Daniel! Astum!’ Thinking of it as a game, I’d run towards him as quickly as possible.  I thought about this and what the word means in my now adult life, especially now in my musical career. Passing down language was something that I prayed for as a kid. I remember wanting to attend the reservation school to learn but our Ojibway teacher disappeared one month earlier and never came back.”

He continues: “’Astum’ also touches on active addiction and the challenges that it brings to an individual. While in active addiction, it’s extremely difficult to function in the known society and it leaves you feeling even more lost. I reflect on how it’s really sad and you watch a lot of good people leave because its impossible to keep a firm grasp on reality. You’re longing for a great relationship but know it could never happen because you’re constantly trying to numb out past traumas.”

Watch the video clip for Astum (ft. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson) via YouTube below or listen here. The video was directed by boy wonder with found footage off the internet.

Daniel also speaks about the EP title and meaning. “’Big Pharma’ is about me trying to bring awareness about the pharmaceutical industry and their lies. I talk about how they destroyed my community of Selkirk Manitoba and many more small towns and cities. A whole generation completely changed in just a matter of five years, Families torn apart and loved ones lost to addiction and overdoses. Our treaty card ensures that our medical insurance is covered but a lot of the time the only medication that’s available for free is the stuff thats most addictive. I found this alarming and made me connect the dots linked to an underlying form on genocide happening right under our noses.” 

Zoon Big Pharma cover artwork

‘Big Pharma’ track listing
1. Astum (ft. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson)
2. Oil pastel/Dope sick (ft. Cadence Weapon)
3. Rain in a new city (ft. Michael Peter Olsen)
4. Red river (ft. Sunnsetter)
5. Oopeeum (ft. Jasmine Trails)

Pre-order / Pre-save ‘Big Pharma’ here.

Zoongide’ewin, means being brave, having courage and having a strong heart. Zoon’s genre-defying debut album, ‘Bleached Wavves’ stole our hearts, and then strengthened them with a masterful storytelling of struggle and loss through his gorgeous and gauzy shoegaze songs of survival. ‘Bleached Wavves’ was shortlisted by the Polaris Music Prize and globally celebrated. Zoon was featured on the cover of Toronto weekly, NOW Magazine as a part of Ombiigizi – a project he collaborates on with Adam Sturgeon from Status/NonStatus. Daniel is quoted in the piece saying, “It’s hard to lift up heavy things alone. We’re stronger in numbers.”

Zoon will play select summer shows including Sled Island, Folk on the Rocks and River and Sky festivals amongst other. See full dates and details below.

Live Dates 2022
June 5: Toronto – Garrison (outdoor stage) — opening for Sloan
June 18: London – Odyssey Records 
June 22: Calgary – Sled Island — opening for Low
July 6 & 7: Toronto – Great Hall — opening for Fucked Up
July 15-17: Yellowknife – Folk on the Rocks 
July 12: Sudbury – River & Sky Festival
July 23: Montreal – Entrepôt 
Aug 12: Mont Louis – La Pointe Sec 
Aug 13: Gaspé – Centre Culturel Le Griffon 
Aug 19: Santa Fe – SITE 

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