Leela Gilday says the north exerts an almost gravitational pull when you’re away from it. She should know: she moved south for university when she was 17 and ended up staying for 12 years to establish her musical career, something that’s hard to do when based in the north. She returned to Yellowknife in 2008. She calls the north “a powerful place. It occupies your dreams and your daily thoughts. It’s so vast, it makes you feel what your place is on the earth in a way you can’t in the south. You feel small in the north.” Feeling small occasionally, although Gilday doesn’t say so, might be a valuable corrective to southerners’ tendency toward self-importance. There’s nothing small, however, about Gilday’s music. A blend of folk, pop and country, it captures with vigour what it means to be a native person from the north (she’s a member of the Dene First Nation).