Graham Reid | | <1 min read
Somewhat improbably this English acoustic folk-rock outfit recently appeared on stage with the desert blues-rock band Tinariwen -- which really shouldn't have worked at all, yet reports were highly favourable.
Tuung's debut album Comments of the Inner Chorus and the follow-up Good Arrows certainly offered a beguiling musical blend which had Elsewhere reaching to the Incredible String Band, the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and the Beta Band for reference points.
While those names don't exactly go out the window for this one -- their first since founder member Mike Lindsay left -- and they haven't strapped on electric guitars in the manner of Tinariwen, there has been a noticeable shift in their sound.
The folk elements are intact, but there is a playfulness in some arrangements (the weird pop and sound effects on Sashimi which puts them closer to New Zealand's Phoenix Foundation/Lawrence Arabia axis of bent alt. folk-rock). And they follow that song with a delicate and intimate acoustic ballad (With Whisky) -- then it is off into the quirky (PCOrchestra-like) instrumental By Dusk They Were in the City which comes with a pulsing bass and understated electro-slashes, and a guitar solo out of San Francisco '67.
This isn't exactly the "hope you like our new direction" album, but there are plenty of side roads explored (very gently) and Tuung remain quirky and full of unexpected eccentricities, and yet manage to keep a pop-folk economy and sensibility in mind.
Still charming and mildly provocative as usual.
Good 'un Tuung.