Listen to the brand new debut single from Terry Uyarak’s forthcoming album
Nunavut’s Terry Uyarak has just released the first single from his forthcoming sophomore album, Unnuaq, which is due out June 21 on the Jerry Cans’ label, Aakuluk Music.
If “Qaigi” is any indication of what the rest of the album sounds like, consider us excited.
It’s a song that means a lot to Terry, according to the news release announcing its launch.
“It gave me more meaning to my current group of friends, all around me… always welcoming me in their hearts as I do them,” he said.
The title track of the new album is one of Terry’s personal favourites, he said, both because of the friends and collaborators who worked on it and the emotional drama at its core.
“The first verse is a daughter’s perspective towards her father, who drinks often,” he explained.
Accompanied by the song’s redemptive musical arrangement, she expresses empathy, understanding, and abiding love for her father, who we hear in the second verse. He’s remorseful about the pain he’s caused her and admits he could not provide her with the love and protection she needed.
In the end, the father and daughter’s song is a pledge to one another: “We have no choice but to go through this night, but the sun will reappear eventually, and I will not stop loving you, and I will always be your light.”
Another song close to Terry’s heart is “Nutaraullunga” (which translates to “When I was a kid”), inspired by memories of months-long traditional hunting trips in the summer with his family.
“It was always the same,” he said of those expeditions, travelling over 60 kilometres north of Igloolik looking for seals, Arctic char, caribou, and walruses. “[The trips] were so normal for us that we didn’t even think that we had a choice not to go; it was a super normal thing… Since we lost our grandmother, we are not doing that anymore; it’s just a memory now.”
Terry described the music of Unnuaq as a collection of “healing songs” that connect the husband, father, and artist he’s become in the present to the young boy he was when he heard the “forbidden” folk songs of his ancestors for the first time; those songs, prohibited and suppressed by the church, began to reemerge during his youth, and it was clear to him the healing power they possessed.
Unnuaq’s melodies tell the album’s stories as much as the lyrics. The texture and ambiance of the arrangements convey the landscape and the environment more vividly than any prose.