Tunng: Comments of the Inner Chorus (EMI)

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Tunng: Red and Green
Tunng: Comments of the Inner Chorus (EMI)

What to make of this large and flexible UK group which sometimes sounds like the charming Penguin Cafe Orchestra, sometimes suggests the wonderfully groove-orientated Beta Band (sadly no more), sometimes comes off like introspective Anglo-folk from the late 60s, and at other times drops in loops and samples?

Stylistically it's called folktronica because alongside the guitars, banjo, melodica and the cello etc one of the singer-songwriters, Mike Lindsay, is also credited with "noises" (which I take to be the loops, samples, wheezes, surface sound from old vinyl and so on).

It can be deceptively simple and quite lovely pastoral folk, and yet you are always aware that this isn't going to be quite straight down the line.

Odd stories are told, emotions are touched, nu-folk in invoked, and then a sample is dropped in and a man in a funny voice -- presumably taken from a children's record -- says, "songs, stories, magical words".

Which pretty much sums it up, actually.

Utterly beguiling.

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