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Album Review

Tagaq, Tanya – “Tongues” – [Six Shooter Records]

kittywompus   10/19/2022   A Library

2022 release

Tanya Tagaq is a Canadian Inuk throat singer, songwriter, novelist, and visual artist from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada known for developing her own solo form of Inuit throat singing, called katajjaq that is typically performed by two women. Following a year delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic, her 2022 album, “Tongues” was inspired by Split Tooth, Tagaq’s award winning mythobiography’s poetic passages. and was produced by New York poet Saul Williams (a multimedia talent in his own right) and mixed by Gonjasufi (American vocalist, producer, disc jockey, and yogi Sumach Ecks) who reworked a “grimier” sound into the album. Haunting, powerful, and stark, covering themes addressing the subjugation of Canada’s indigenous peoples, Tagaq describes Tongues as her “Most explicit and specific…speak[ing] not to horrors and crisis…but directly of these things.”. Piercing lyrics about cultural genocide (such as the loss of indigenous languages, the subject of the album’s title track) and Tagaq’s personal call to rage and healing from the resulting generational trauma are amplified by an industrial, electronic exoskeleton and spotlighted by Tangaq’s own raspy, ominous and at times non-lyrical vocals.

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