Tucan – Towers – Review
Moving forward is always fresh in the musician’s mind, embracing fluidity and change and harnessing that energy is the realm of the artistic. Creative stagnation is the scourge of any artist. Musical evolution is never easy, yet reinvention is the task Tucan set for themselves for their most recent record. Multiplying from a duelling guitar based duo to an eight piece band with a big sound, their second studio record, Towers, is a rich and textured atmospheric album, populated with dynamic instrumentation and deft musicianship. Ain’t no stagnation here friends.
Produced by Torsten Kinsella (God is an Astronaut), this collection of songs is a vibrant departure from previous plains for the band; the album breathes and moves in waves, ebbing and flowing, wandering and meandering through genres, this is a piece populated with interconnected instrumentally crafted well-cut tracks.
Bearing shades of The Cinematic Orchestra, ‘Prelude’ opens the piece, forlorn violin drifts lazily over gently competing guitars, kicking drums and bass hold the bottom and builds dynamically, subtle brass lines blowing, horns hanging high in the mix, softly interplaying with hushed vocals. A mesmerising introduction.
‘Cosmo’s Note’ is an upbeat number, funk rock swagger in its step. Frantic movement and pace abounds, it shuffles and swings like Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, while ‘As It Was’ presents a dramatic full band stomper, sharp horns stabbing, strings swirling, precise technical drums holding it all together. Adept musical drumming underpins the whole record and adds a driving sense of urgency, propelling individual pieces pleasingly and always maintaining momentum.
Covering a Massive Attack track is not a task to take lightly, especially their best known and much appreciated piece. ‘Teardrop’ drips together slowly, like a moving jigsaw joining, disparate parts fall into place to form a fascinating whole, oddly familiar, yet striking in its originality, breathing new life into an old tale. Tucan approach this big number with a subtle sensibility and it certainly is a surprise addition at the album’s end.
At the centre of these songs lives a sense of the band’s earlier aesthetic, two guitars dancing frantically entwined, but Towers is most definitely a fine departure for Tucan. Wonderfully vibrant, with fluid songs, skilled, precise production adorned with mesmerising instrumentation, wailing horns blow a gale and strings sing throughout.
Having caught their set at Electric Picnic last year, all advise points plainly to the fact that it would be wise to witness their live show for yourself.
Tucan play the Button Factory on Saturday 4th of April.
Towers is out now.
Review by Andy Guyett