Genre: Sludge, Hardcore
Sounds Like: Goatsnake, Windhand, Down
What makes Medicine Horse elite and sit atop OHMs Peak?
Sludge/hardcore newcomers, Medicine Horse have delivered one hell of a debut here. It's a raw and unfiltered blues-fettered sludge album with richly rooted tribal bounce
The Oklahoma quintent have developed an outside the box thinking. Diving deeper into the sludge meets hardcore realm
This trip encompasses 7 songs hovering around 34 minutes. The soundscape is far from your typical sludge album as they wallop you with crisp hardcore than pull back with a mesmerizing, bluesy doom
Nico Williams possesses a unique vocal talent. Her range from guttural scowls to etherial bluesy tones is like no other
This album is perched above the plains of beauty with a sludgy-blues underpinning that is enriched by Nico’s wild vocal exploration. Brilliantly tight acoustics coupled with vibrantly diverse fretwork
1. Dead Medicine 3:56
2. Turning Tide 3:51
3. Swamp Interlude 1:42
4. Letiche 6:56
5. Badlands 4:32
6. She 6:08
7. Kuwa Detlukv (The Orchard) 7:11
Dive deeper into this album with our Q&A with Medicine Horse
OHMs Peak: How did your Native American roots help shape your sound and what was the driving force behind the name Medicine Horse?
Medicine Horse: The drum is a big part of pow wow and traditional ceremonies in Kyle's Ponka and Otoe-Missouria culture, and the rhythm of turtle shell shackles is central to stomp dance ceremonies in Nico's Cherokee culture. These sounds are the most ancient form of human musical expression, and this driving rhythm is also the heart of heavy music, so what seems like two cultures with a whole lot of distance between them are actually very comfortable with each other.
Medicine Horse is the name of guitarist Kyle Williams' great-great-great-grandfather, Shoⁿge Moⁿkoⁿ (Ponca) or Ma’kaⁿ Suⁿje (Otoe). He was a warrior who fought for the survival of his people, and Kyle would not be here today if not for the strength of this ancestor. Medicine Horse is an inspiration to us to continue to fight for our people, our family, friends and community.
OHMs Peak: The vocals of Nico Williams are the driving force of this album. How do you train your vocals to control such a wide range?
Medicine Horse: I never had any formal training but my initial background as a vocalist was as an aspiring jazz singer. So that is where my clean singing style is rooted. The heavy vocals really come through coaching from our rhythm guitarist, my husband Kyle. He has a long career as a vocalist and front man over decades in the Tulsa metal scene, and he was the one who coached me from the start in our previous band to find that space in my voice and be able to volley between the two safely and with the most powerful effect.
OHMs Peak: Any plans for a significant tour in the coming months? Feel free to share some dates, we would love to catch you on the east coast one day.
Medicine Horse: We have a handful of dates around our home region of Oklahoma, and are planning a short run of southern states along the Gulf coast. We are always adding dates all the time, so we would absolutely love to do some shows on the east coast.
10/28 - Whittier Bar - Tulsa, OK
11/10 - The Shrine - Tulsa, OK
11/17 - Iron Horse Records - Van Buren, AR
12/30 - The Pitt - Pittsburg, KS
1/17 - TBD - Houston, TX
1/18 - TBD - Lafayette, LA
1/19 - TBD - New Orleans, LA
1/20 - TBD - Hattiesburg, MS
1/24 - Diamond Ballroom - Oklahoma City, OK
OHMs Peak: The album contains intriguing lyrics which adds to the allure of Medicine Horse. Can you provide some insights to your creative writing process?
Medicine Horse: Most of the time, the band comes up with an instrumental arrangement for a song and pretty much locks that in, before I take a scratch recording of that and go off by my lonesome to sit with it. The music will always paint a picture for me, and an idea takes shape. Sometimes the sound immediately brings me to a place, like the bayou in Letiche, or the desert in She, and a story unfolds from there.
OHMs Peak: Would love to hear a bit about the creation of the album art, it seems to capture the mood of the album?
Medicine Horse: Kyle wanted the art to tell the story of the creation of our band. We began during the pandemic, a dark time full of so much death, which is represented by the grim reaper hidden in the mountain on the horizon. The figures are of course us, having survived that battle we continue our journey together to face whatever comes next. Our good friend, artist Jacob Rachal captured all of that so perfectly. He took our initial inspiration from the old westerns we all grew up with (and Young Guns of course) and ran with it, adding all these little details, and his color choices give the piece this haunted kind of mood with a supernatural spin to it. We also feel it sums up the album musically, and the personality of the band pretty well as a whole, bringing in elements of where we all come from and where we currently are, and the overall sound.
Medicene Horse are:
Nico Williams - Vocals
Kyle Williams - Guitar
Garrett Heck - Drums
Travis Rowe - Guitar
Chris West - Bass
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