Tunng - …And Then We Saw Land
In the three years since their last album,Good Arrows, folktronica stalwarts Tunng have been keeping themselves busy with touring and working on various different projects including The Imagined Village and an excellent tour with Malian desert bluesmen Tinariwen. Now they have returned with their fourth album …And Then We Saw Land’
‘Hustle’ kicks off the album in typical Tunng style, a wistfully upbeat folk song with the usual clicks and noises associated with the band. ‘It Breaks’ follows with a similarly cheery tone but backed with some top notch horn work. ‘Don’t Look Down or Back’ is a wonderful piece that ebbs and flows like a glorious summer day. Even though we are only three tracks in, it is clear that the long wait for a new album has been richly rewarded.
‘October’ provides a perfect example of Tunng's increasing confidence in their own playing and writing which has led to a decreased reliance on the electronic trickery that has occasionally overcome them in the past. It's a flowery, summertime song that floats along until a perfectly engineered mid-song break leads us back to a flowing coda. It is a great feeling to hear a band move their art forward so successfully without doing anything to alienate the fanbase that has brought them to where they are.
The rest of the album simply flies by with the madly fluctuating instrumental ‘By Dusk They Were In The City‘ being a particular highlight, its video game beeps intertwine with a melee of instruments to provide the perfect soundtrack to a five minute video montage of the Winter Olympics. So we come to the end with the epic ‘Weekend Away’ which, although not the best song about a weekend, (that title belongs, of course, to ‘The First Big Weekend’ by Arab Strap) but it comes pretty damn close and provides the album with the ending it deserves. But wait, after some silence we are treated to a gentle acoustic pirate themed song that is equally worthy of being the album closer.
With ‘…And Then We Saw Land, Tunng have produced a beautifully uplifting album that would provide the perfect accompaniment to a lazy Sunday afternoon, lounging in the garden watching the clouds drift by and dreaming of far away lands. You can't get much better than that.