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Album of the Week: 'I Am the River, The River is Me' by Jen Cloher

I Am The River, The River Is Me by Jen Cloher.jpg
I Am The River, The River Is Me by Jen Cloher is available now.

I Am the River, The River Is Me by Jen Cloher is KAXE's Album of the Week for March 17-23, 2023.

'Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko.'

I am the river, the river is me. — Maori proverb

In 2019, Jen Cloher began a sort of self-discovery, diving into their maternal roots of the Indigenous people of o te reo in New Zealand, also known as the Maori. I Am The River, The River Is Me marks Cloher's first album that includes both English and the te reo Maori language.

"Takatapui" is a Maori word that originally meant "intimate companion of the same sex," and has been reclaimed to include all people who identify outside societal constructs, both in gender and sexuality, something Cloher identifies with and discusses throughout the album.

The moods shift fairly greatly throughout the album with Cloher's warm vocals always at the center. It includes feel-good folk songs like Mana Takatapui; rippers like Being Human, where Cloher grapples with being both a colonizer and the colonized; My Witch, a dark, sexy number; and Protest Song, a song of sadness and climate change, written after the unprecedented 2019 Australian wildfires.

Jen Cloher displays an authentic vulnerability and sort of personal reveal on I Am The River, The River Is Me.

Take a listen to I Am The River, The River Is Me this next week on KAXE.

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Kari (CAR-ee) is originally from South Dakota … a state often referred to as the land of infinite variety. As Music Director at Northern Community Radio, Kari has taken that theme to heart with her ability to feed a community of listeners hungry for an infinite variety of music and ideas. Along with her trademark lipstick and husky voice … Kari also raises a family … and Baguettes when time permits