Last night the 2014 Polaris Music Prize was bestowed upon Tanya Tagaq, an Inuit throat singer and Björk collaborator, for her album Animism. The choice is definitely a surprise, but it will hopefully spark curiosity and not the indie equivalent of when that other Canadian singer lost to an unknown. Tagaq beat out Arcade Fire (who already won for The Suburbs in 2011), Mac DeMarco, and Drake, among others, for the coveted Canadian title, which honors “albums of the highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history, as judged by a panel of selected music critics,” and comes with a $30,000 prize. She joins the likes of other Canadian darlings Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Feist, and Fucked Up.
Unlike previous winners, Tagaq used her acceptance speech to encourage hipsters to eat more seals. No, really.
“People should wear and eat seal as much as possible because if you can imagine an indigenous culture thriving and surviving on sustainable resource, wearing seal and eating it, it’s delicious and there’s lots of them. I really believe that if hipsters can make flower beards in, then you can do it with seal,” Tagaq said.
Listen to the first two tracks from her album Animism below.