By Marc Fournier
When Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq was awarded the prestigious Polaris Prize (Canada’s equivalent to the Mercury Prize) this October for Animism, spectators were mesmerised by her performance at the ceremony while music journalists around the country were unanimous in their praise. Animism is her fourth album and the most accomplished yet. Produced by Jesse Zubot, the album opens with a Pixies cover, ‘Caribou’, and ends with an anger-fuelled sound sculpture called ‘Fracking’. Experimental, visceral, intense and disturbing; this is essentially the definitive audio statement of contemporary nordicity in Canada.
While Tagaq first came to many people’s attention in the early 2000s, when she toured and recorded with Björk, she is now in full possession of her creative process; one listen to the track ‘Tulugak’ is enough to appreciate just how far throat singing and other vocalising techniques can take the listener. Get ready to be lost in the tundra at dusk.