Tunng: Songs You Make At Night (Full Time Hobby) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Songs You Make At Night

Full Time Hobby

Aug 21, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Tunng founding members Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay have reconvened for the first time in eleven years and have fallen back into lockstep immediately.

Within moments of the first track here, Genders is singing of rainbow skulls and shards of sky over a stream of delicately arranged inorganic instrumentation. Their electronic touch is lighter than before, caressing their expressionistic lyrics into clear mental images, Martin Smith’s Fender Rhodes being the gossamer thread throughout the record.

If that is the musical consistency that lends the album continuity, then Genders’ lyrics likewise tell a cohesive story. We meet an old Tunng friend, the eponymous character from “Jenny Again,” the track from 2006’s Comments of the Inner Chorus, whose earlier murderous exploits have now left her alone and bereft, living by the water. One gets the sense that these Songs You Make At Night are spawned from her inner turmoil, manifestations of her guilt, but with tracks like “Sleepwalking,” we can all too easily relate to her late night wrestling matches with the soul. The majestic Grand Guignol storytelling of “Evaporate” is as dark as they dare to go, and it is delicious.

Phil Winter’s sampling is the album’s wild card, throwing in leftfield excepts of Planet of the Apes, snatches of South Korean pop, and even clips from an interview with ‘70s porn actor Mary Millington. It lends the album a true-to-life unpredictability, the mysterious creeks that interrupt the lakeside tranquillity.

There are also moments of sincere beauty; “Crow” and “Battlefront” are handled with care, Ashley Bates’ gentle rippling guitar lines a refreshing break from the electronic modulation. Most quietly affecting is “Flatland,” a cry of paralysis, of being trapped into living, thinking, and dreaming in one dimension. A must-listen for Tunng fans, this could mark the start of the second phase of their career. (www.tunng.co.uk)

Author rating: 8/10

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