Since I read an article about Tunng’s new album (Live from the BBC) I have been thinking about picking this track, for this blog. If you don’t know Tunng, they are an English band that started out as a duo and then grew into something bigger. I have their first album ‘Mother’s Daughter and Other Songs’ from 2005, which I still listen to and love. It mixed (in places quite traditional) folk with electronics, but way before the pretty dire term folktronica was coined. What was interesting was the atmosphere and emotion that they brought to their work; in places it was quite dark, but held together with beautiful melodies, harmonies and playing.
But the track I have posted up is from their second album and is the remixed version by The Earlies, and I apologise now (only a little bit) for being a bit gushing. Sometimes the first version of a track that you hear becomes the one; even if it is a remix…it becomes the definitive version for you. This might be the reason why this remix has stuck with me despite the original being great too, but I honestly think it is down to the quality of the track and the remix. Firstly the core of the track is just amazing. It has a really dark subject matter at its heart, but as the song progresses a kind of hope and peacefulness comes in. The type of story telling in this song is not easy to do, but they do it exceptionally well, using very direct words and in places English references (not often you will hear songs talking about Little Chefs) that really connect you to the song and create a vivid picture of events. But then what really takes it above and beyond is The Earlies’ contribution.
Made up of a mix of people from Manchester and Texas, similar to Tunng The Earlies utilise electronics alongside instruments to create slightly psychedelic, lush, dream like songs. Where the original is pretty steadily paced and anchored to a very simple guitar and minimal electronic arrangement, the remix brings in beautiful piano, organ, drums and additional electronics that just build and build to a crescendo, massively amplifying the emotion of the song. To my ears it really is an amazing track; about as good as it gets, and it will always be one of my very favourite songs.
Playlist Thursday 26th January 2012
Seems a small point, but the train operator I use to get to work are unable to get the right number of carriages on their trains. For some reason it is always one short and so today the train was pretty crammed, which is never good. Anyway, being a miserable git, I knew that most of my colleagues would not be in today which meant that I would be left alone to get on with my work and listen to some music – very nice. Listening to Tunng took me back to some other old favourites. I started off with a number of tracks from Efterklang’s lovely second album ‘Parades’ (a bit more electronic than Tunng but they also mix in elements of folk/choral), followed by tracks from the first Cold War Kids album (really great but haven’t warmed to their later stuff as much) and then finished off with Laura Veirs’ great version of the traditional folk song King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O from her folk songs for kids album – a very addictive song that will have you singing it for days.
Playlist: Efterklang – Mirador, Efterklang – Polygyne, Efterklang – Him Poe Poe, Efterklang – Horseback Tenors, Cold War Kids – Hang Me Up To Dry, Cold War Kids – Tell Me In The Morning, Cold War Kids – Hair Down, Cold War Kids – Saint John, Laura Veirs – King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O