• Feature

7 Inuit Music Maestros to Tune In To Now

Apr 24, 2020
by Jessica MacDonald

If you’re getting bored listening to the sound of your own breathing, we’ve got some new tunes to get you jamming. From throatsinging to rock to folk and everything in between, here’s a list of the seven Inuit musicians you should be listening to at home, and where you can find their music online.



 

Elisapie

Montreal-based pop singer Elisapie Isaac began performing at age 12 and hasn’t stopped since. Her most recent album, Ballad of the Runaway Girl, was nominated for the 2019 Juno Awards and shortlisted for the 2019 Polaris Prize. You can find her music on Spotify or Bandcamp, or watch her perform in this Tiny Desk Concert.


 

Academy Records Annex 

The Academy Records Annex Youtube Channel hosts old recordings made by the CBC of Inuit performing traditional songs and practising throat singing. We love the Inuit Singers of Nain, Labrador, featuring artist Eli Merkuratsuk.


 

The Jerry Cans 

This Iqaluit, NU, band combines traditional Inuit throat singing with folk music and country rock. Although their newest album, Echoes, won’t drop until May 15, you can find music videos of their singles Atauttikkut and On the Rocks on Youtube. If you’re hungry for more, visit the Lazy Days Jerry Cans playlist or find their complete discography on Spotify and Bandcamp.


 

Tanya Tagaq 

Hailing from Iqaluktuuttiak (Cambridge Bay), NU, Tagaq is well-known throughout Canada and internationally for her unique approach to throat singing. Her music won her the Polaris Prize and multiple Juno awards, while her first book, Split Tooth, was nominated both for the Amazon First Novel Award and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Find her music on Youtube, Spotify or Bandcamp.


 

Riit

The stage persona of Rita-Claire Mike-Murphy, this musician and television personality first rose to fame as the host of children’s show Anaana’s Tent, and has been singing deeply rhythmic vocals in Inuktitut for years. Riit’s most recent album, Ataataga, was released last Fall and was nominated for a Juno award. You can find her music here.


 

PIQSIQ

Sisters Tiffany Kuliktana Ayalik and Kayley Inuksuk Mackay, who go by the name PIQSIQ, began learning throat singing at age six. From Yellowknife, NT, they perform both internationally and nationally, with sets featuring improvisational live looping, creating a haunting, ethereal feel with their music. Ayalik and Mackay also perform as part of the Juno award-winning folk rock band Quantum Tangle with fellow musician Greg Gritt. You can find PIQSIQ in Bandcamp, Spotify and Youtube.


 

Silla + Rise

Based in Ottawa, ON, this Canadian musical group consists of Cynthia Pitsiulak, Charlotte Qamaniq and DJ Eric "Rise Ashen" Vani, who blend traditional Inuit throat singing with electronic dance music. Their album, Debut, was nominated for a Juno in 2017, and they were the subjects of an episode of Absolutely Canadian. Find their music on Bandcamp and Youtube


Mash-Up Bonus

If a playlist is more your speed, you might enjoy this episode of Q with Tom Power, featuring performances from The Jerry Cans, Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory, FXCKMR and Riit, as well as an interview with designer Victoria Kakuktinniq.