Experience the power of one of Canada’s signature voices in Ever Deadly. Released today for free streaming from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Ever Deadly offers a unique perspective into the passion that fuels Tanya Tagaq’s voice. The Inuk throat singer joins forces with director Chelsea McMullan to tell her story and reflect upon the causes that inform her music.
Weaving intimate concert footage with verité sequences that show Tagaq’s life up north, Ever Deadly takes a personal approach that shows how Tagaq’s music veers from tradition, but how causes affecting Indigenous communities inflect her sound with passion and rage in equal measure.
The real wonder of Ever Deadly isn’t the dynamic concert footage, though. It’s the opening sequence that features Tagaq in harmony with fellow throat singer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. McMullan films the two women as they engage in a call-and-response in the crisp morning light. Playing out in a longer take of nearly five minutes, Ever Deadly has a doozy of an opener that envelopes the viewer in the raw tone of the women’s voices. Moreover, the dynamic between the two singers smartly sets up the form that McMullan uses throughout the film. The film itself harnesses the call and response aspect of throat singing to tell Tagaq’s story as it cuts between Tagaq’s life up North and her life on stage.
“Ever Deadly is about Tanya Tagaq, and it fulfills her vision. It is about her radical sound that she brings to the south, and where it comes from,” wrote Judy Wolfe while profiling the film for our fall 2022 issue. “Her simplicity and her playfulness, are on full view.”