Tunng return with their 7th/ 8th studio album, depending on whether you include “Magpie Bites and Other Cuts” which was released last year. Their first album “Mother’s Daughter and Other Songs” dates back to 2005, so they’re long established in the world of folktronica, if there is such a world! Their new album takes a serious turn with an Album, Podcast and Conversation all on the topic of death! What more could you hope for?
Podcasts are available on Tunng’s own website here, and you can sample some of the new album below…
A new album, podcast series and conversation on death and grief composed and produced by Tunng.
The breadth, detail and care of Tunng’s Dead Club project is a striking thing. “It’s not just a record, it’s a discussion, it’s a podcast series, it’s poetry, it’s short stories, it’s an examination,” says the band’s Mike Lindsay. Tackling the still near-untouchable subjects – grief, loss, the act of dying, where we go, what becomes of those left behind – death is a taboo beyond all others.
Around the time of Tunng’s sixth album, 2018’s Songs You Make at Night, lyricist Sam Genders found Max Porter’s novel Grief is The Thing with Feathers, and was struck by its power. Its viscerality and rawness and rage. Its beauty and love and connection. He passed Porter’s book around his band members.
For months the six band members discussed the subject at length. That they are such a sizeable band, diverse in opinion and perspective, proved helpful: “When all those things come together that’s what makes it Tunng,” says Genders. “And because the subject of death is so powerful for people in different ways, we talked about the kinds of issues it might bring up, that we might need to be sensitive about.”
Firstly, Dead Club is an extraordinary record; contemplative, intimate and celebratory. It includes collaborations with Max Porter, who wrote two new pieces for the album. It draws on the research the band conducted — nods to the Wari people of Brazil who eat their dead, discussions of consciousness and memory, Genders’ visit to a death cafe in Sheffield, and the Swedish art of Death Cleaning. It touches on personal loss, fear, and humour and sorrow and love.
“Trying to turn this whole concept into an album, into music, without it being too sombre and difficult for people to listen to, that’s been the challenge,” says Lindsay. “We wanted it to be colourful and we wanted it to be kind of uplifting. Although some of it’s a lot darker than I was imagining it originally, I think it’s a thought-provoking and emotional journey; it doesn’t make me feel sad.”