It's easier said than done for Nahko and Medicine for the People, whose lyrics for their latest single "Twisted" — exclusively premiering on Billboard today (Feb. 21) — spell out a cry for help, a petition for forgiveness and an ode to self-love.
The poignant track blends pop piano melodies with folk and alternative sounds, as "Twisted" unwraps frontman Nahko Bear's constant yearning to find love in others before coming to the conclusion that love starts with himself. He focuses on this new purpose at the perfect time — the release Nahko and Medicine for the People's new song aligns with the new moon today, per his tradition tying in the idea "resetting intentions and direction."
"Foolish child broken, looking for his mother/ Tryna find her in every woman that he called a lover/ That's how he shows her all his power/ Keeper the secrets, but he's a coward," he wistfully croons in the first verse, before belting "I need help" on the chorus.
It's not necessarily a track about feeling downtrodden, but one that shines a light on how Bear isn't afraid to undergo self-realizations for his fans, who might not expect a leader a band called Medicine for the People to prove he actually takes that medicine for himself. According to his band's biography, Bear and his birth mother have undergone joint therapy sessions back in his Pacific Northwest neck the woods, and those rousing discussions have paved the way for the folk singer to cultivate ultra-personal narratives for his new music.
"The idea how twisted I had gotten my truths came to me one night, and I penned the chorus right then and there. That truth and journey is to love oneself, your whole self, for all that you are and all that you are not," Bear tells Billboard "Twisted."
That subject matter will also fit the context their upcoming album, titled Take Your Power Back, as a whole, Bear adds.
The alternative world music group's new album is due May 15 SideOneDummy Records, and they plan to fill it with plenty deeply personal reflections from Bear's own creative awakening, according to the band's bio. "Twisted" tells just one those tales about learning to love and forgive oneself, a prescription Bear abides by.
"After spending so much time helping others find love for themselves, I realized my own well was empty. We've all been there, when you get to a certain point in your life and everything seems to be falling apart," Bear says. "It's a frustrating place to find yourself at, humbling if you can allow it, but difficult to give yourself permission to feel the shame it all."
Listen to "Twisted" and check out the group's fast-approaching tour dates below.
Nahko and Medicine for the People Tour Dates:
Feb. 21 — Uvita, Costa Rica @ Envision Festival
Feb. 23 — Uvita, Costa Rica @ Envision Festival (solo)
Mar. 3 — San Luis Obispo, CA @ Fremont Theatre
Mar. 4 — Petaluma, CA @ Mystic Theatre
Mar. 7 — Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Club
Mar. 8 — Stateline, NV @ MontBleu Resort Showroom
Mar. 20 — St. Petersburg, FL @ Reggae Rise Up
Mar. 27 — Santiago, Chile @ Lollapalooza Chile
Apr. 24 — Tulum, MEX @ Art With Me (solo)
May 22 — Monterey, CA @ Cali Roots Music and Arts Festival
May 29 — Atlanta, GA @ Candler Park Music and Arts Festival
Jun. 5 — Thornville, OH @ Pyro Music and Arts Festival (solo)
Jun. 6 — Thornville, OH @ Pyro Music and Arts Festival (solo)
Jul. 10 — Portland, ME @ State Theatre
Jul. 11 — Marshfield, MA @ Levitate Music & Arts Festival
Jul. 15 — Ottawa, CAN @ RBC Blues Fest
Jul. 17 — Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
Jul. 18 — Louisville, KY @ Forecastle Festival