Written by Eden Jinks
Five albums in and KT Tunstall certainly has not lost a step. Within the space between the melancholic Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon and the release of this record she thought that her fourth would be her last. Aiming to go into composition for the silver screen instead.
After the spark had been reignited to make a new album, it was announced that the process had begun. A video explained how fans could be more involved through the website PledgeMusic. On the site there are options for pre-orders ranging from a CD, signed LPs, bundles and a private gig from KT and her band. Once you have purchased something you get regular updates on how the recording process is going, live Q and A’s (which are an absolute blast there are a number you can watch on her Facebook page) and instant access to all the The Golden State EP and singles for the full length. It was a great way to engage with the fans and many more artists are jumping on to the site.
Each new single (Hard Girls, Maybe It’s a Good Thing) gave the eagerly awaiting fans another taste of the albums direction and sound. With it having similarities to the third album Tiger Suit (2010) but not having as big of a focus on production elements and focusing on the songs themselves. Tunstall has managed to build a solid sonic jigsaw but each piece still has its individuality making each song its own brimming with its own personality. This is partially because of the move to Venice Beach, CA where the mix of the natural environment with the manmade villas that are placed upon the desert expanse have influence and the good old U.S of A’s optimistic mindset. Along with the life experiences that she has gone through there is a weight behind KIN.
Whilst I mentioned the name of the album, the title track is a movement that has a string arrangement composed/conducted by David Campbell (Beck’s father) brings a sweet softness to accompany the gentle finger picked guitar. KIN is a pivotal song as it forms the message and reasoning behind it. Symbolising the journey that many people go through in their lives all the hardship and struggle, by getting through those times you find your people that you care, love and cherish they become your tribe.
Maybe It’s A Good Thing and Evil Eye are pop master classes that will rule the mainstream radio airwaves as they are dancey, rhythm ruled numbers which she has become one of the best in the business at. Unlike other songs that are in the hit parade, Maybe It’s A Good Thing is stronger on almost all fronts. Especially in the lyrical department the words are crafted in the most poetic ways. It just goes to show that pop can be more than a catchy tune and clichéd lyrics. Using her wide array of vocabulary it adds an extra level of quality thus enjoyment as well.
KT Tunstall’s latest instalment is a smashing pop album but still retains a tender side. KIN is an album filled with light, love and kinship and that is certainly a good thing.
Listen to Hard Girls below.