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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.


The Clash - Sandinista
Well, who hasn't spent many a year enjoying this album? What I love the most are the repeating themes. Even though it seems like the album is going all over the place, as it crosses so many genres, it is more like hearing an echo over and over. There is a subconscious element that keeps resurfacing. You know how scent is one of the biggest triggers of memories? Every once in a while you will smell a smell, and it will remind you of something from your high school days. I get the same sensation when I listen to Sandinista over and over. There are so many reoccurring themes and reoccurring sounds and it will allow me to go to one specific area of my brain. That can feel really strange, but it begins to feel like home after a while. So, I find this album to be really fun. I really respect the fact that they were trying different genres of music on this album. A lot of artists, once they obtain a bit of notoriety, will become almost a parody of themselves by not pushing boundaries anymore. They get stuck in the machine, thinking that because people like them for sounding such a way, they must stay like that. That is not how art works. Art is a living and breathing thing and if you don't breathe life into it, it will die. To that point, Sandinista blew my mind when I first heard it. Do you find yourself making a conscious effort to keep pushing boundaries? Well, I do try to maintain that mindset, but I also don't feel I have attained any sort of notoriety. I have no sense of what it would be like to be an artist like Björk or The Clash or Radiohead. It would be difficult to have that level of attention. I just have enough attention, so I can still be myself.