Tami Neilson has one of the most powerful and dynamic voices in music. And with her latest album Kingmaker, the Canadian-born, New Zealand-based singer-songwriter is raising it like never before.
The most lyrically focused work of her career, Kingmaker is a feminist musical manifesto, divided between anthems of female empowerment and cuts that confront sexism and misogyny in music, politics and the world at large. Hard-hitting as it is, though, the album never feels heavy-handed, thanks in no small part to Neilson’s disarmingly vibrant personality and energetic retro songwriting — along with some ambitious production that expands her twangy world with everything from lush strings to Tex-Mex textures. Shortly after arriving back in Toronto for her first Canadian shows since the pandemic, Neilson got on the Zoom to talk about Kingmaker, coming home, collaborating with Willie Nelson, crying at the sight of Tim Hortons and much more. Enjoy.