Anger is an energy, and it’s always been the fire that feeds Tanya Tagaq’s music. Even when she wordlessly roars or coos, shrieks, or wails, it’s impossible not to feel her incendiary rage vibrating in your gut and through you, along with all the pain and joy, fear, and love swirling in the earthy and unearthly sounds that emerge from her body in such devastating and mesmerizing ways. But on Tongues—which uses lines from her acclaimed 2018 novel Split Tooth as a jumping-off point—Tagaq spells it out for us more frankly and clearly than she has in the past.

The bodies of the innocents have been discovered in unmarked graves, and the guilty go unpunished. What other response can there be? “Colonizer” only needs four words to say it: “Oh you’re guilty / colonizer.” On “Teeth Agape” she is more threatening: “Touch my children / And my teeth welcome your windpipe . . . I will hunch my shoulders and wait / Claws sharpened / Teeth agape.” And on “I Forgive Me” she rejects the idea of moving forward without finding justice: “I do not forgive and forget /I  protect and prevent.” Yet there is space on the album—and in her big heart—for “Earth Monster,” a sweet and tender song about her small daughter, and for “Do Not Fear Love,” which advises inhaling goodness and love and exhaling large fears and large words: “They tumble back onto you / It’s easy to get buried by our own mirrors.”

The musical backing for these vivid and sometimes terrifying lyrics and images is also different this time around. Instead of her long-time associates Jesse Zubot and Jean Martin, Tagaq had spoken-word and hip-hop artist Saul Williams produce the tracks and DJ Gonjasufi mix them. Beats are almost always at the forefront, sounding variously like a thumping heart, a rapid techno rhythm, a snapping finger or a pounding drum. Ominous keyboard drones, whistles, flurries and rumbles build the songs into dreamy metallic doomscapes, hypnotic hip-hop tracks, or angular electronic dance tunes.

On top of everything is Tagaq’s powerful voice: forming hypnotic rhythms, spitting with anger, wailing with sorrow, fiercely reclaiming her language and performing guttural throat singing, spoken diatribes and thrilling vocal gymnastics with an unyielding fiery spirit that demands attention and awe.

Extra reading: Tanya Tagaq Grabs the World by the Throat.