Tanya Tagaq won the Polaris music prize back in 2014 for her album Animism, and the Inuk throat singer recently announced that she will release a new LP this fall titled Retribution. A press release describes it as a concept album about rape, and it concludes with a cover of Nirvana’s “Rape Me.” Here is an excerpt from the press release:
Retribution is Tanya Tagaq’s portrait of a violent world in crisis, hovering on the brink of destruction. It’s a complex, exhilarating, howling protest that links lack of respect for women’s rights to lack of respect for the planet, to lack of respect for Indigenous rights. It’s an album about celebrating the great strength of women, it’s about rejecting the toxic, militaristic masculinity that’s taken over the world since the rise of Western industrial capitalism, and is rapidly destroying human life support systems through climate change and pollution. In a startling lyric from the title track, she observes, “Money has spent us.”
The Inuit people live on the cutting edge of the climate emergency. As sea ice dwindles at astonishing rates, they are witnessing the death of the entire Arctic ecosystem, as the colonialist machine rolls on, mining newly uncovered areas for diamonds. And the Inuit know the truth about the contemporary natures of the crimes at the centre of Canada’s identity. Tagaq herself is a survivor of Canada’s infamous genocidal Residential School System, something most Canadians would rather imagine as a dealt-with thing of the distant past.
Retribution’s lead single “Centre” features the Canadian rapper Shad. Tagaq told The FADER a bit about the song’s deeper meaning:
The song is about the idea of being centred… being rooted, being present, all of these things are about the knowing, knowing how to conduct yourself. Our lyrics are about electrons, gravity, the fundamental forces, looking at how physical laws can be applied spiritually and emotionally, and how to centre yourself. As a woman, I know my centering happens where I make my babies, it’s not in my head, it’s in the cavities of my body where I hold blood. It’s where we create. I find my womb very sacred and I wanted to address that.
Retribution is out 10/21 via Six Shooter.