Review: KT Tunstall – Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon
Published on June 14th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Well, well, well, we weren’t expecting this: KT Tunstall has on her fourth album Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon gone all Laura Marling on us by knuckling down to a nocturnal, fiery-bellied set distinguished by a mastery of dynamics that was damned near absent on erstwhile hits such as “Suddenly I See”. This is positively jazzy by comparison, well-written as well as agreeably delivered, and if there’s anyone out there screaming “her last album was like this too!” at their screen then we do apologise, for we hadn’t been anywhere near impressed enough by her early work to feel like following her progress.
What a pleasant surprise Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon is, then, and how very luxurious it is; the slow-burning intimacy reminds at times of Talk Talk’s classic Spirit of Eden album, quite apt really since they too took people by surprise with a not dissimilar stylistic shift. Ingenious flourishes are smuggled in all across the album, be they the ace whistly bit on “Made of Glass”, the way “Crescent Moon” flits between gentle piano and a sort of cacophony, or the stomping, vampish, bluesy blast of “Hallowed Ground” that we’re reasonably surprised to find ourselves writing is somewhat reminiscent of The Kinks’ overlooked 1971 LP Muswell Hillbillies.
It’s a good thing we did decide to give Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon a listen, because we daresay we wouldn’t have lost any sleep if we hadn’t. As stated previously, we know not if KT Tunstall’s previous releases had been clearly building towards something like this, something so sophisticated and subtly eclectic, but we couldn’t really care less. If you’ve been reading this with a whacking great “hmmm” welling up inside of you, we’d simply urge you to check it out and see for yourselves. Fair play, Tunstall; fair play.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!
Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon is out now on Jaydone Ltd.