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TUNNG

Tunng

Tunng Presents....DEAD CLUB

    The breadth, detail and care of Tunng’s Dead Club project is a striking thing. “It’s not just a record, it’s a discussion, it’s a podcast series, it’s poetry, it’s short stories, it’s an examination,” says the band’s Mike Lindsay. Tackling the still near-untouchable subjects - grief, loss, the act of dying, where we go, what becomes of those left behind - death is a taboo beyond all others.

    Around the time of Tunng’s sixth album, 2018’s Songs You Make at Night, lyricist Sam Genders found Max Porter’s novel Grief is The Thing with Feathers, and was struck by its power. Its viscerality and rawness and rage. Its beauty and love and connection. He passed Porter’s book around his band members.

    For months the six band members discussed the subject at length. That they are such a sizeable band, diverse in opinion and perspective, proved helpful: “When all those things come together that’s what makes it Tunng,” says Genders. “And because the subject of death is so powerful for people in different ways, we talked about the kinds of issues it might bring up, that we might need to be sensitive about.”

    Firstly, Dead Club is an extraordinary record; contemplative, intimate and celebratory. It includes collaborations with Max Porter, who wrote two new pieces for the album. It draws on the research the band conducted — nods to the Wari people of Brazil who eat their dead, discussions of consciousness and memory, Genders’ visit to a death cafe in Sheffield, and the Swedish art of Death Cleaning. It touches on personal loss, fear, and humour and sorrow and love.

    “Trying to turn this whole concept into an album, into music, without it being too sombre and difficult for people to listen to, that’s been the challenge,” says Lindsay. “We wanted it to be colourful and we wanted it to be kind of uplifting. Although some of it’s a lot darker than I was imagining it originally, I think it’s a thought-provoking and emotional journey; it doesn’t make me feel sad.”

    It's also a podcast series, produced by the band’s Becky Jacobs and Sam Genders, speaking to those who work in the field of death: philosophers, scientists, frontline workers, and beyond. Philosophers Alain De Botton and A.C. Grayling discuss cultural attitudes towards death, alongside palliative care physician and author Kathryn Mannix, mentalist Derren Brown, forensic anthropologist Dame Sue Black, musician Speech Debelle, and Poetry editor of the New Yorker, Kevin Young. Samples from these discussions in turn appear on the album: Brown’s voice hovers over Fatally Human, Black considers what happens after we die on The Last Day, while on A Million Colours, Ibrahim Ag Alhabib of Tinariwen speaks of the traditions around death of the Tuareg in northern Mali.

    There were live events planned of course, collisions of music and readings and art that the band had hoped might prompt conversations about the subject among the audience. Perhaps the hope of this project is not to commandeer grief, to explain it or provide a structure for loss, but to bring a new openness to the subject.

    We no longer have the religious script we once had that helped us to deal with death, Genders notes. “And I think a lot of us are struggling to know how to behave around it.” But there are skills we can learn, conversations we can have, cultural baggage we can question, to find an approach that reflects an experience that is “inherently human”, as Genders puts it. “I think in life in general there’s something very powerful in total honesty,” he says. “In being honest about all the different ways that you experience things. Because it’s nearly always the case that you discover everyone’s got the same anxieties, and the same fears, and having the same experiences. And maybe that can be powerful.”

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xColoured LP Info: Clear vinyl.

    Tunng

    This Is Tunng...Magpie Bites And Other Cuts

      Since forming in 2003 and over the course of six studio albums, Tunng are a group that have explored the boundaries between acoustic and electronic music, becoming synonymous with the folktronica genre before moving into territory that managed to both evade that label and continue to redefine it. This is a collection of rare gems and oddities released from 2004 to 2018. These are the 7”s, special editions, b-sides and hidden tracks that would otherwise be lost in the ether. Here they are sitting side by side like a wonky gang, leaning in to share their strange tales.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xColoured LP Info: Clear vinyl.

      TVAM

      No Silver Bird / Narcissus (Tunng Remix)

        A long-time personal favourite of TVAM and something of a rare psych, curio ‘No Silver Bird’ was originally released by New Mexico underground act The Hooterville Trolley in 1968 , More recently ‘No Silver Bird’ has featured in the TVAM live sets and generated lots of interest and questions on Socials as to what is was and when it was available - the wait is over. The Tunng remix of ‘Narcissus’ came about via a remix-swap between the acts, this version is also previously unreleased /unheard until now. Tunng have stripped back the original elements and have offered a reinterpretation in their inimitable psych-folk styling. All pressed onto transparent yellow vinyl.

        Some musical partnerships are so strong, intuitive and natural that they almost can’t be separated due to the natural magnetism present in the relationship. One such tight knit songwriting family are Tunng, and their new album Songs You Make At Night reunites founding members Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay (fresh from his LUMP side project with Laura Marling) and the rest of the Tunng gang for the first time since 2007’s Good Arrows.

        “We really wanted to do a Tunng record going back to the original line up,” Lindsay says. “there was a real magic in the early records that we all wanted to capture again in this one.”

        Since forming in 2003 and over the course of five albums, Tunng are a group that have explored the boundaries between acoustic and electronic music, becoming synonymous with the folktronica genre before moving into territory that managed to both evade that label and continue to redefine it. Songs You Make At Night finds a group of people reconnecting with a previous collective state to bring out something new and forward-looking. “We're all so different but each bring something essential, something Tunng to the party. Be that to the studio, to the stage, to the van, or to the pub. I think that the new songs Mike and Sam have crafted between them have brought out the best in all of us.” confirms singer Becky Jacobs.

        Songs You Make At Night is also Tunng's most electronic-leaning to date. Take lead single ABOP which brings the Moog right to your face, with a heavily swung frazzled 808 pigeon beat whilst sampling a speech from the 1970s pornographic actor Mary Millington that builds into a magical pop feast. 

        Songs You Make At Night’s tone, theme, lyrics, mood and characters exist in a fluctuating state between night and day ("I got very much into the idea of a dark underwater world suffused with pockets of light and beauty and some of the songs grew out of that." says Sam Genders), the conscious and unconscious. Crepuscular in its nature, Lindsay explains the all-encompassing title. "I think it’s also important to stress the songs you make at night not, we make at night. Then the word “songs” can mean a multitude of things. It can mean songs, or dreams, pillow talk or actions and decisions, moves, and can be very personal... the thoughts that keep you awake at night."


        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Having been one of my absolute favourite bands at one point in time, Tunng elicited within me more than a little excitement, and have followed through on that excitement with aplomb. with the sound from their heyday being completely in attendance here. Electronic blips, huge synths and shimmering acoustic guitar, Tunng are back!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        CD Info: Digipack CD.

        Fifth studio album from experimental 6-piece Tunng.

        Despite various changes in the band’s set-up - including frontman Mike Lindsay’s relocation to Iceland where he recorded last year’s acclaimed ‘Cheek Mountain Thief’ solo album - there’s a togetherness to the album. Recorded mainly in Dorset, this is the first Tunng album where all members were present at each stage of the process.

        Becky Jacobs shares lead vocals with Mike, and they are joined by an eclectic array of instruments and vintage equipment resulting in a rich, colourful record.

        Tunng's second LP, has been eagerly awaited round these parts and they haven't let us down. Twelve more expertly crafted wonky folk songs that have been trussed up in harp strings, super-charged with electronic pulses and spliced with a sampler. Truly they embrace all the good things on offer to open minded musicians, quasi-traditional songs laced with meditative accoustic lines and a pulsing mechanic undercurrent. Tunng deftly unite numerous eccentric elements without causing chaos, plodding melodically through a fairy lit magical underground.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd CD Info: Special 'indie shops' only edition including two bonus tracks in a black slip case.

        Tunng; edgy yet irresistible, songs that slide under your skin or clamber softly into your ear whilst you sleep. Even the very name is designed to confound. 'It must go into peoples heads, scramble and come out wrong... It brings out the dyslexic in all of us.' What then can you expect? "People Folk" lounges gently over a pagan beat, like the Beta Band lost in the Congo; "Fair Doreen" melds scratchy electronica with a pastoral, quintessentially English dynamic and "Out The Window With The Window" is a spooky semi-instrumental, perfect spot music for The Wicker Man itself. In short this is excellent and a big contender for those end of year charts!!!!


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