(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 3: TUNNG

Tunng – DEADCLUB (collage credit: Lilias Buchanan)

Sam Genders is a founding member of Tunng and around the time of Tunng’s sixth album, 2018’s Songs You Make at Night, he 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. “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.”
“Tunng Presents​.​.​.​DEAD CLUB” is out now on Full Time Hobby.

What Sam Gender says:
“Our new record ‘Dead Club’ is inspired by a year long period of research into our culture’s relationship to death and grief. It’s been a surprisingly enriching and uplifting journey. We read books, interviewed friends, writers and professionals and talked late into the night amongst ourselves. In some ways it’s been one of the easiest records to write. We had so many conversations to draw on, things flowed. Some of those conversations were challenging and the album doesn’t shy away from the darker side of the subject matter, but there’s life and energy here too and we hope that even in these troubled times people will love listening as much as we’ve loved making it.”

His Mixtape:
“These songs didn’t for the most part influence the writing of Dead Club directly, but they are a pretty good snap shot of the kinds of things that are inhabiting the corner of my musical galaxy in which I’m currently residing. As such you might find you can hear elements of Dead Club in this playlist that I’ve made for you with love.”

Moses Sumney
Cut Me
(from Græ)

I know very little about Moses Sumney apart from the fact that a few years ago I caught about 20 seconds of his set on the Garden Stage at End of The Road festival in South West England.
I was rushing to meet some friends or play a set or something so I couldn’t stop but I made a mental note to listen further. I forgot all about that moment until I sat down to make this playlist and googled him. I found this amazing track, with this amazing video, which he directed. That’s all I know but I think there’s a touch of genius here and I’m going to seek out more.

Dana Gavanski
I Talk To The Wind
(from Yesterday Is Gone)

I actually found this track totally by chance because it popped up randomly on some socials feed or other and I was instantly hooked by the visuals. I even got in touch with the video maker because I loved it so much. Her name is Gaia Alari and she works totally by hand using traditional animation methods. Beautiful. The second thing that happened was that I realised it was Dana, which is a bit of a coincidence because Mike from Tunng co- produced this track (with Dana and Sam Gleason). I’ve been meaning to catch up on her music lately because Mike’s been working with her a lot. I love this! Her voice is just wonderful and this is a perfect dreamlike cover of the King Crimson original. Can’t wait to hear more.

Juana Molina
Cosoco
(from Halo)

I love this! I’ve followed her since the early days of Tunng and love her rhythms and those slightly discordant tones she often uses. Brilliant video too. She’s an influence on my writing in a way that I can’t quite put my finger on. Some of the odd harmonies on the track Tsunami on our record might owe a little DNA to JM.

Eric Whitacre
The Veil Opens
(from The Sacred Veil)

My Mum sent me this for my birthday last month. It’s beautiful and seems to match a particular sound scape that is running through my head here in Sweden where I’m living and which is tied in with my surroundings. Sparse landscapes with pine trees, rocky shorelines and lots of sky. This reminds me in an indirect way of classic choral works such as Faure’s requiem and a warm world of orchestral sounds that I love.
This particular album is new to me but it’s music like this that primed me to be so keen to embrace the classically influenced moments that arose during the making of Dead Club. Martin’s piano, Ashley’s string and clarinet arrangements and Mike’s blending and orchestrating of all those elements.

Philip Glass
Changing Opinion
(from Songs From Liquid Days. Lyrics by Paul Simon, sung by Bernard Fowler)

This is a really great oddity. It doesn’t really sound like anything else I’ve heard and it always inspires me to have faith in experimentation.  Mike and the rest of the band are very open to trying unexpected approaches when we write and I’m very grateful for that. Glass’s album was on my mind at times when we were working, even if only as a kind of silent cheerleader saying ‘go on.. try it..you might like it!’.
Great, odd, mundane lyrics from Paul Simon here. Awesome vocals from Bernard Fowler.

Cabane
Take Me Home Part 2 and Sangokaku
(from Grande Est La Maison)

Full disclosure is required here because I played a small part in this project by writing lyrics for two of the songs, one of which is the first tune played here, Take Me Home Part 2. These are both beautiful songs put together by Thomas Van Cottom who is the main writer and creator behind ‘Cabane’. I only watched this La Blogotheque video for the first time today and it made me cry! It’s just so gorgeous and it felt so magical to have been given the opportunity to play a tiny part in it’s creation.

Novelty Island
Magdapio Falls
(from Welcome To Novelty Island)

Novelty Island is the project of Thomas McConnell, who I met in a pub in liverpool a few years ago.
He’s one of those very young upcoming musicians who you meet and just know they’ve got adventures in store. He’s a brilliant writer and and this is a great self produced track. I think there will be alot more where this came from and I’m pretty sure it’ll be good. One to watch!

Tunng Presents​.​.​.​DEAD CLUB is out now. Look HERE for more information on TUNNG.

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