Album: Tunng

This Is...Tunng: Mother's Daughter and Other Songs, STATIC CARAVAN
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The Independent Culture

As might be expected of a duo who perform "Maypole Song" from The Wicker Man in their live shows, there's a distinctly bucolic tone to Tunng's debut album - albeit one tempered with a sharp edge of modernity, courtesy of the beats and samples with which producer Mike Lindsay embellishes the folk-song stylings of singer Sam Genders. The result is a quirky, distinctive blend of ancient and modern, its combination of acoustic guitars, folksy ruminations and glitch-tronica rhythms resembling a digital-age Pentangle. It's one of the more successful exercises in folktronica since Momus first coined the phrase back in 2001, thanks largely to Genders' ability to draw on elemental imagery both metaphysical (lines such as "Thou art not Satan's girl" and "I saw the sun fall on everyone") and scientific ("Like Watson and Crick, you seem to look into my soul"), and Lindsay's knack for disrupting any cosy nostalgic tendencies with sudden interjections of things such as door-intercom buzzers and canned applause. Best of all is "Tale from Black", in which lines such as "She knows when they jail her they'll grind down the key" capture something of the dark, cataclysmic extremity of traditional folk songs.