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Baker's Dozen

Northern Uproar: Tanya Tagaq's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , November 30th, 2016 10:06

With the release of her phenomenal new album, Retribution, the Inuit throat singer talks to John Freeman about the albums that make her laugh and cry. And laugh some more.

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Elliott Smith - Either/Or
I love Elliott so, so much. It is hard to describe why – I never met him, I never saw him play live and I will never forgive myself for not ever seeing one of his shows. All of his albums have left a huge mark on my life. I loved how sensitive he was and how intelligent he was. I got how much agony he was in and how he lived a life of addiction. Levels of depression and addiction are statistically very high amongst Inuit communities. What especially resonated with me was how he died, as there is a very high suicide rate in Nunavut. People go through a lot of hardship here and – I know I am generalising – are wonderful, wonderful human beings. Just because someone is going through a difficult time, doesn't mean they are not intelligent and it doesn't mean they are not sensitive and loving. I find that Elliott Smith's music helps me when I am feeling sad or having a difficult time – he makes me feel like I can make it through. I love all of his work. I could have picked any album, but Either/Or is perhaps my very favourite. However, I also truly love the earlier albums and how shitty the production is on them. They are not jazzed up – it is just him being himself.


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