I’ve been following the music UK singer/songwriter Emily Underhill has been releasing under the name Tusks for a few years now and finally her full-length debut is out – and my only complaint is that it just isn’t long enough. But luckily this is a classic case of quality over quantity.
The ten tracks of Dissolve are an emotional journey of love, loss and growth – told over chilling, atmospheric soundscapes and within epic, wall-of-sound guitars. With how deeply personal these lyrics are it makes sense that Tusks’ vocals are either far back in the mix, hidden shyly in reverb or up close and intimate, in a fragile, baring-her-soul kind of way. Either technique sounds haunting, tying to the texture of the music seamlessly.
“Cinematic” is the word that keeps coming to mind when trying to describe the music. Like a film score, it’s epic when it needs to be – with crashing drums and larger-than-life guitars – and soft and calming when it needs to be – with electronic atmospheres and haunting pianos. It’s the type of album that’s best listened to with headphones on and eyes closed, letting the music take you somewhere else.
The title track is a perfect example of Tusks’ creative mixture of epic and intimate:
Another standout is the closing track, a cover of Foals’ London Thunder: