INUKTITUT ELECTRO POP COLLECTION, PRODUCED BY GRAHAM WALSH, FEATURES GUEST VOCALISTS ELISAPIE, JOSH Q AND ZAKI IBRAHIM.
“#UVANGATTAU” FT. ZAKI IBRAHIM OUT FRIDAY. PREVIEW HERE.
“Shifts seamlessly from heavy verses and eerie synthesizers into a decidedly sunshine-y chorus, as Riit switches between graceful, airy vocals and intense throat-singing while communicating the strangeness and elation of exploration.” – FADER
“A uniqely Arctic take on electropop.” – Line of Best Fit
“A sound that builds like a zipper being pulled upward into the sky.” – FASHION
Photo by Bettina Bogar
Riit, from majestic Panniqtuq, Nunavut, is a new artist making space for herself in the synth pop world with Inuktitut lyrics and deep rhythmic vocals layered over sticky, staticky electronic textures. Riit’s music emerges from very distinct circumstances of place, language and experience. Throughout ataataga, her debut full-length album, Riit sings about the clarity of forgiveness, the imprint of the past on the present, and personal disconnection. In Inuktitut, Riit’s songs explore family, life and love.
On “#uvangattau,” out Friday, August 30, Riit collaborates with astral soul/R&B artist Zaki Ibrahim. Blood boils, eyes blaze. With an opening knife slash and two captivating voices interwoven in English and Inuktitut, #uvangattau is both fight and flight, a reckoning with fear and violence. Throughout ataataga, from the gentle droning quiver and build of “uqausissaka” with Elisapie, to the heart quickening strobe light flashes of “ullagit,” Riit explores ways of expressing resilience and moving through pain and heartbreak.
Riit also nods to Nunavut’s rich yet under-appreciated legacy of songwriters, with covers of Inuktitut classics included on the record. “Inuusivut,” is a song by Igloolik, Nunavut metal legends Northern Haze. The song, which appears in two versions on the band’s 1985 and 2018 albums (the newest written by Derek Aqqiaruq), is about living one’s life. Riit trades the Hazers rock riffs for glinting synths, expanding the searching, self-reflective original into a duet with Aakuluk Music’s Josh Q. “Qujana,” a break-up song, was written by Susa Aningmiuq, one of Panniqtuq’s most beloved songwriters.
The album opens and closes with very different versions of the title track ataataga, which means father, from pulsating and vaporous to an unadorned piano ballad.
ataataga will be released on October 25, 2019 via Six Shooter Records.