Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tagaq's Blood

"Traditional throat singing is a game between two women that is an emulation of the sounds from the land. It is a very complicated game where you are making two sounds and you have to go back and forth alternating the sounds. The leader can change the song to the next verse anytime they want to, so you have to be able to follow them. It is not emotional, although it may sound that way. It is a game, you giggle afterwards."
-Tanya Tagaq Gillis

If the offbeat vocalistic style of Bjork appeals to you, you haven't heard anything yet. Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq Gillis, or Tagaq for short, has to be one of, if not the, most singular singers I have ever listened to. Hailing from Victoria Island, Canada, which lies north of the Arctic Circle, Tanya took up the traditional musical form of throat singing while in college, and has since adapted it to her own particular style, sometimes singing alone, and other times with others.

Her first album, Sinaa, was one that featured mainly Tagaq. Auk (which translates to blood), her second album, features more collaboration with some other singers and musicians. Take for example Fire - Ikuma, the second track off the album (listen to it below), which features Mike Patton (another unique vocalist best known as frontman for Faith No More). The entire album is simply awe inspiring. There's really no way to neatly fit this album into any niche that's been created in popular music. The before mentioned Bjork would most likely be the closest, but Tagaq goes way outside the circle formed by Bjork's music. It's hauntingly ethereal, primeval, basic yet complex. I would describe it as primitive but that would not do it justice, as instead of the negative connotations associated with the word, I would use it to convey the natural and elemental aspects of it.

The album is out today. Experience the following two tracks to catch a glimpse of the world Tagaq's music will take you into.

Visit her website, her label Jericho Beach Records, and become her friend on MySpace.


Faith No More - Epic : Who Cares A Lot? The Greatest Hits

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Initially I heard the Mike Patton vocals and musical subtleties and thought this was simply a Mike Patton side project (he has so many wonderful projects) - but was delightfully surprised to find it's another artist whom he has worked with that's forging her own way musically.