I’ve only known Tanya Tagaq for five minutes, but she’s already hugged me twice. The first time was greeting me in the lobby of her east end Toronto apartment building; the second is when I say that I’m happy to be there. “I’m so happy too,” she says, her words melting into a squeal as she throws her arms around me again.
This joyful persona might seem a little incongruous if you’ve only ever heard her music. Retribution, her newest album, is a gorgeous but thoroughly harrowing listening experience. The follow-up to 2014’s Polaris Music Prize-winning Animism, Retribution explores the damage human beings inflict upon the earth, and each other, through a range of intense and often wordless soundscapes.