If you’re looking for connection via escapism (as impossible as that sounds) or you’re simply a fan of delicately produced music; Tusks’ debut album Dissolve is an essential listen. Released today via One Little Indian, the ten track record is an impressive offering from newcomer Emily Underhill.
Created alongside longtime co-producer Brett Cox, Dissolve explores territories both internal and external; insecurity, the breaking down of relationships with ourselves and our lovers; and ultimately (and most importantly) hope. ‘For You’ opens the record with lonely keys, clicking beats, and Tusks’ delicate vocals; all blended seamlessly to create a moving, ethereal soundscape. On ‘False’ she laments about the lover who “broke down my walls” – the wasted energy and lost faith connoted via piercing guitar riffs and tumultuous percussion.
‘Last’ is laced with reverb and aching vocals, and a chorus that rings out in a style similar to that of ethereal indie band Daughter. The eponymous ‘Dissolve’ is a highlight of the record; slow-building and sensitive, it’s an aural trip through bad memories that have seeped below the skin: “I can’t erase the things I hate, now they’re what’s running through my veins”. It leads in to mysteriously named ‘1807’, which is a masterclass in Brian Cox’s production skills. Each click of percussion and tap of the keys sounds as crisp and pure as Tusks’ measured vocals.
‘Paris’ hosts precious whisperings of love and insecurity – “I’m not safe when I’m alone” – and could soundtrack to a sad night in the city it’s named after, whilst following track ‘Ivy’ is a metaphor for the suffocating doubt that lingers in toxic relationships. ‘Toronto’ is the second track named after a great city, and contrasts nicely with predecessor ‘Paris’. The soundscape here is larger and lonelier, but there’s still an essence of hope present in both vocals and ambient guitar.
Penultimate track ‘My Love’ is a gentle ode to the discovery of true romance, bathed in twinkling synths and more trademark echoing vocals.The record closes with an eerie cover of Foals‘ ‘London Thunder’ – which Tusks delivers in her own pensive, mesmerising way. Buy your copy of Dissolve today, and let its sensitive sounds erode your woes away.
Photo Credit: Harvey Pearson