If you’re 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 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 is explored 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. 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 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’ contrasts nicely with predecessor ‘Paris’, and while the soundscape here is larger and lonelier, there’s still an essence of hope present in both the vocals and ambient guitar.
Penultimate track ‘My Love’ is a gentle ode to the discovery of true romance, bathed in twinkling synths and more of Tusks’ 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 fears away.
Photo Credit: Harvey Pearson