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Tanika Charles - The Gumption (LP)

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"What gave you the gumption?" Tanika Charles rhetorically asks during the introductory notes of her sophomore album appropriately titled The Gumption. While the apprehensive lover at the receiving end of that inquisition should feel slighted by the remark, it also alludes to the assuredness Tanika has gained since the release of her Juno Award and Polaris Music Prize-nominated debut Soul Run. The Gumption picks up where Soul Run left off, continuing her tradition of marrying classic soul with modern production styles. Across a dozen songs spanning 38 minutes, Tanika addresses moments of vulnerability, vindication, uncertain love, forbidden fruit and the state of the world today. "It's a little more mature. It's not feeling guilty about being up front, not being afraid to address situations that aren't comfortable for me. I'm comfortable in my skin now in a way I never was before. The overall theme is growth. I feel the music reflects that, and my words reflects that. Even the album cover tries to convey the feeling too. I'm not putting up with unnecessary nonsense anymore." 

Predominately guitar-driven mid-tempo soul, with a handful of dance floor friendly tunes and some psychedelic leanings, The Gumption was indirectly influenced by the likes of Alabama Shakes, The Supremes, Khruangbin, D'Angelo, and Moses Sumney. It is sonically moody at times, but with consistent silver-lining arcs. "I've grown up and learned to deal with situations significantly better. We have a tendency to hold back our innermost feelings for fear of hurting others. Even when we're happy we worry about over-sharing, as if joy is a competition you don't want to gloat about." 

The success of Soul Run propelled Tanika in front of new audiences far and wide, with extensive touring in North America and Europe. "I've been touring, experiencing new places and meeting new people. And in that time also worked on completing this album". While criss-crossing Canada with festival appearances on both the east and west coasts, Tanika also embarked upon four overseas tours for a combined 45 European shows within a one year period. This included performances at the prestigious Trans Musicales Festival in France, the Lärz, Germany Fusion Festival, Mostly Funk & Soul and Jazz Festival in UK, the Holy Groove Festival in Switzerland, and the Canarias Jazz Festival in Spain.

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