Tunng, Good Arrows
A sweet, lulling folk record that aptly reflects twenty-first century life.
Although Tunng started out as a duo — the result of an unexpected collaboration between studio-geek Mike Lindsay and singer-songwriter Sam Genders — it's since transformed into a collective: Genders — who handles the group's vocals — initially opted not to perform any of Tunng's music live, so Lindsay began recruiting outside musicians to help bring their songs to the stage. Genders is now playing shows, but stand-ins Ashley Bates, Phil Winter, Becky Jacobs and Martin Smith have all been incorporated into the group, and Good Arrows, Tunng's third LP, is a six-person effort.
Tunng is probably best known for embellishing traditional, guitar-based folksongs with synthesized flourishes, but with all those warm bodies huddled in the studio, Tunng's sound has skewed slightly more organic, and Good Arrows is richer, warmer and more nuanced than any of its predecessors, seamlessly melding found sound (slurps of broth, snippets of radio broadcasts, children shouting “yay!”) with twinkling bells, guitars and carefully layered vocals. If you listen carefully, it's not terribly difficult to pick out the non-manmade bits, but Good Arrows reflects the band's shift towards cohesiveness (and away from more abstract sound-collages). The result is a sweet, lulling folk record that aptly reflects twenty-first century life — it's the recorded equivalent of sending someone an email to tell them just how much you love them.