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KT Tunstall / May 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 23rd November 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Scottish singer/songwriter and now L.A. transplant KT Tunstall has announced a new UK tour for next spring. Tunstall just released her fifth studio album ‘KIN’ in September, out now on Virgin EMI. (Read Rebecca’s review of the artist’s LP through here.) She finished a tour of most larger markets of the UK 2 weeks ago. Admirably, Tunstall has announced another UK tour for next May, this time for different, mostly smaller towns in between her bigger stops the last time around. Tickets for this new tour go on sale this Friday, the 25th of November, at 10 AM. For more on KT Tunstall on TGTF, come right this way.

Thursday 18th May 2017 – Harrogate Royal Hall
Friday 19th May 2017 – Edinburgh Queens Hall
Saturday 20th May 2017 – Northampton Derngate
Monday 22nd May 2017 – London Barbican
Tuesday 23rd May 2017 – Guildford G Live
Wednesday 24th May 2017 – Scunthorpe Baths Hall
Friday 26th May 2017 – Warrington Parr Hall
Saturday 27th May 2017 – Warwick Arts Centre
Sunday 28th May 2017 – Llandudno Venue Cymru Theatre

 

Album Review: KT Tunstall – KIN

 
By on Friday, 14th October 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

KT Tunstall KIN album coverIt’s crazy to think that it’s been over 10 years since KT Tunstall released her debut album ‘Eye to the Telescope’, which I remember playing pretty much non-stop for months on end. Shortly after its release, Tunstall was nominated for a number of BRIT Awards, bagging Best British Female in 2006, before being nominated for a Grammy in 2007. Since then, the Scottish singer/songwriter has released a further four albums, the latest of which is ‘KIN’, which Tunstall shared earlier this month.

Musically, Tunstall has explored a variety of genres since she first appeared on the scene, such as on 2013’s folk / acoustic ‘Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon’. But her latest work embraces vibrant pop sounds and feel-good hits. The album comes after Tunstall took a break from writing and recording albums to work on composing music for the film industry. Tunstall moved out to Los Angeles to work on music for movies such as Winter’s Tale and Disney’s Million Dollar Arm, before embarking on a small tour of the U.S. in 2015. She worked with Tony Hoffer (The Kooks, The Fratellis) on ‘KIN’ in a L.A. studio.

It’s inevitable that, after such swift success so young, all of Tunstall’s later musical feats would be compared to her debut album. ‘KIN’, whilst being more polished compared to the raw gritty pop of ‘Eye to the Telescope’, is still a solid fifth album for the Scot. Many tracks are much simpler lyrically than her past work, it’s not necessarily a bad thing that Tunstall has gone for something different with ‘KIN’. Every artist should have the space to explore and challenge musically, and it feels that Tunstall has certainly been influenced by her move to the States. She’s compared writing ‘KIN’ to the process of writing her debut: “carefree, unselfconscious, writing music because I enjoyed it”, and being in L.A. particularly helped her to “recalibrate [her] relationship with being a musician”. There’s an ambience to ‘KIN’ that feels decidedly ‘L.A.’ I haven’t visited the City of Angels myself, but the upbeat, acoustic pop that bedecks each track on ‘KIN’ makes me feel like I could be hanging out on Venice Beach with my surfboard. There’s something about the chilled acoustic notes mixing with Tunstall’s throaty tones and buoyant drumbeats that fit with my impression of the L.A. aesthetic.

The whole album is highly accessible. ‘It Took Me So Long To Get Here, But Here I Am’ not only boasts one of the longest song title I can think of, but is one of those life-affirming and motivating songs that make you reflect on where you’re at and acknowledge that there’s always hope. Lyrics like “but it made way for something different / I could feel it in the air” and “everything I tried and all the things I dreamed of” will appeal to anyone who’s had an aspiration and felt like giving up, but somehow had the will to keep going.

Then there’s ‘Two Way’, a duet with James Bay, who also cowrote the song. The track has softly grating electric and gently strummed acoustic guitars, paired with Tunstall and Bay’s complementary vocals. It’s got a very chilled out vibe and is a nice contrast to the quicker-paced songs on the album. ‘Evil Eye’ is one of those upbeat tracks, with lyrics proclaiming self-belief: “you want me to be more like you / but you’re never gonna get your way”. Tunstall sings about self-worth on ‘Evil Eye’, refusing to let the judgment of others get her down.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LULB8jXdaoc[/youtube]

Another favourite is ‘Run on Home’, a buoyant track that in 4 minutes and thirty seconds tells the story of finding self-worth and feels like a love letter to the self. The lyrics “the only thing I’ve noticed / is that I’ve been feeling happier lately” seem to sum up the sentiment of ‘KIN’, which plays like the manifesto of a woman who has cast off some baggage and finally feels alive.

‘KIN’, whilst not breaking any new ground, certainly conveys the Tunstall’s new carefree attitude. You might find yourself skipping over a couple of tracks, but for fans of Tunstall’s previous work or of easy-going pop, it’s worth a listen.

7.5/10

KT Tunstall’s fifth album ‘KIN’ is out now on Virgin EMI. She’s currently touring in the States until early October, before heading back to the UK in late October/ early November. For a run-down of all her live shows, visit her official Web site. http://kttunstall.com/live To read past coverage of the Scottish singer/songwriter on TGTF, use this link.

 

KT Tunstall / October and November 2016 UK/Irish Tour

 
By on Friday, 24th June 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Scottish songstress KT Tunstall has announced a list of autumn tour dates in the UK and Ireland to accompany the release of her new EP ‘Golden State’. Tunstall signed to the newly relaunched Caroline Records back in February and is expected to release a full album later this year. Her current ‘Golden State’ EP is digital-only, except for a physical CD release exclusive to Barnes & Noble stores in the United States. You can watch Tunstall’s self-directed video for EP track ‘Evil Eye’ just below the tour date listing.

Tickets for the following live dates will be available for general sale today. TGTF’s previous coverage of KT Tunstall, including a review of her last album ‘Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon’ is collected right back here.

Monday 24th October 2016 – Bristol Colston Hall
Tuesday 25th October 2016 – Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Thursday 27th October 2016 – Manchester Albert Hall
Friday 28th October 2016 – Dunfermline Alhambra Theatre
Monday 31st October 2016 – Dublin Olympia
Tuesday 1st November 2016 – Liverpool Academy
Wednesday 2nd November 2016 – Gateshead Sage
Friday 4th November 2016 – Birmingham Symphony Hall
Saturday 5th November 2016 – York Barbican
Sunday 6th November 2016 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Tuesday 8th November 2016 – Leicester De Montfort Hall
Wednesday 9th November 2016 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Thursday 10th November 2016 – Brighton Dome

[youtube]https://youtu.be/LULB8jXdaoc[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: KT Tunstall performs acoustic version of ‘Feel It All’ at Hollywood’s Guitar Center

 
By on Wednesday, 23rd October 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

If you’re a musician and you’ve spent any time in America playing, you probably know that Guitar Center is a country-wide chain that sells all sorts of musicians’ gear. English radio presenter Nic Harcourt, who previously was at the cultural reins of Los Angeles radio station KCRW and their indie flagship show Morning Becomes Eclectic, now presides over Guitar Center’s wonderful podcast series featuring chats with the musicians we love. Singer/songwriter KT Tunstall is the latest to stop in at their Hollywood store for a chinwag and a live session, and here’s the fruit of her labours, an acoustic performance of ‘Feel It All’.

To listen to Harcourt’s chat with Tunstall, visit Guitar Center’s podcast center.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5lja0ZHMiI[/youtube]

 

Album Review: KT Tunstall – Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon

 
By on Thursday, 15th August 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

KT Tunstall Invisible Empire coverEarlier this summer, I reviewed Laura Marling’s new album, ‘Once I Was An Eagle’, which was, effectively, two separate albums folded into one release. KT Tunstall’s latest release, ‘Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon’, is a similar kind of collection: two sets of songs, each inspired by a significant event in Tunstall’s life. (In earlier interviews, Tunstall has stated these events to be the loss of her father and separation from her husband, Luke Bullen, who plays drums—notably—on only the first half of the album.) Just as Marling sought haven in America around the release of her album, Tunstall retreated to Arizona to record hers, finding inspiration in the desert for both the music and the album artwork.

Tunstall’s album is less experimental in nature than Marling’s, but it is pleasantly surprising in its own way. ‘Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon’ has a distinctly country kind of sound, which is unexpected, but in perfect keeping with the pensive, melancholic mood of the lyrics. Tunstall doesn’t lose her typical bluesy rock sound entirely, but rather flavors it with liberal inflections of traditional, old-fashioned country. The style suits the tone of her lyrics as well as the timbre of her voice, which sounds stunningly beautiful throughout the album. She deftly avoids the contrived effects that so many female singers rely on these days, instead keeping her singing light and flexible, without quite delving into the vocal gymnastics of her earlier work (‘Suddenly I See’, ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’). The overall effect is soft and soothing, even when she explores the lower register of her voice, where many singers can become harsh and grating.

Instrumentally, many of the songs depend on acoustic guitar and pedal steel for their country twang, but the other sonic effects are more eclectic. Bowed string arrangements fill out what might otherwise be a sparse acoustic sound on ‘Old Man Song’ and ‘Crescent Moon’, while ‘Honeydew’ features wind and brass instruments employed to a remarkably delicate effect. First single ‘Feel It All’ has a sultry blues feel, with a slinky guitar riff and fluidly singable chorus. The album ends with the psychedelic guitars of ‘No Better Shoulder’.

Upcoming single ‘Invisible Empire’ doesn’t strike as an immediately strong opening track, but echoes of the chorus played back in my mind as I listened to the rest of the album. Its lyrical musings on the mutable nature of reality foreshadow the remainder of the record in a very subtle way. After it was all said and done (or played and sung), my mind kept wandering back to this track as the focal point of the album. The video for ‘Invisible Empire’ can be viewed below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUVh3x3-I-s[/youtube]

The regular version of ‘Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon’ contains 12 tracks plus the bonus ‘Feel It All—Band Jam’. The deluxe version includes three additional bonus tracks and a haunting cover of Don Henley’s ‘The Boys of Summer’, which by itself is worth the additional cost.

8.5/10

‘Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon’ is out now on Virgin Records. Tunstall’s next single, ‘Invisible Empire’, will be released on Monday (19 August).

 

Video of the Moment #1281: KT Tunstall

 
By on Monday, 5th August 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

KT Tunstall‘s new video is for the song ‘Invisible Empire’, a forthcoming single being released on the 19th of August. The song features on Tunstall’s fourth album, ‘Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon’. This promo video is pretty Lord of the Rings, which I have to say, it’s pretty cool to see a woman acting as a fearless yet beautiful warrior. Watch it below.

 
 
 

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We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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