Tanya Tagaq is returning on October 21 with a new album called Retribution. It’s her follow-up to 2014’s Polaris Prize-winning Animism, in which the Canadian artist incorporated Inuk throat singing into contemporary, and surprising, recordings. She’s keeping up with her own formidable pace on “Centre,” which features Shad — a rapper as Canadian as the spelling of the song’s title. With Shad’s metaphysical verses as partner, Tagaq’s utterances become a kind of dire Morse code from a dimension we exist in but can’t sense. It’s a message floating around the song’s engaging medley of electronic and live instrumentation.
In an email, Tagaq told The FADER that “Centre” was inspired by her obsession with the microscopic role our planet occupies in the grand cosmic scale, and finding meaning regardless. “The song is about the idea of being centred,” she wrote, “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.”