Critics spent a large part of 2010 tripping over one another to find the next new female combatant to take the baton of electropop heiress and continue the renaissance of the synthesiser.
Following the meteoric rise out of nowhere of La Roux, Little Boots’ hype driven cosmic ride and the critical and commercially successful Florence + The Machine. The search was on to find a new wave revivalist princess. It was the time of the female’s, declared many in music circles.
Ellie Goulding was lauded with praise and given the sound of 2010 crown by the BBC. Critics like a stampede in the music aisle in a supermarket rushed to lavish her with praise and a vast array of plaudits. Her “folktronic” sound was a new refreshing take on the tinny synthetic genre.
Yet under the radar KT Tunstall as dormant as is cold the siberian tundra, was hard at work putting the finishing touches to her third outing. The now veteran faced stiffer competition than she had ever done thus far and when she announced that the new album would be taking on a more electronic sound. The skeptics scoffed.
When ‘Tiger Suit’ hit the shelves in September 2010, a lot of the experts were left red faced. The praise had been overspent on Ellie Goulding. KT Tunstall was here to lay claim to her throne and she was going to do it playing the newbie’s at their own game.
‘The Uummannaq Song’ kicks off the album with a foot stomping, anthemic ditty that lets everyone know Ms Tunstall means business. The song has hallmarks of KT Tunstall, the acoustic guitar drive complimented by it’s electric counterpart but with a lovely new layering of sharp synth’s.
But where Ms Tunstall stands head and shoulders above her contemporaries is on ‘Still A Weirdo’. No doubt many supposed heir’s would be brave enough or skilled enough to pull off a self-deprecating, in a playful yet heart warming way like Tunstall manages.
She flamboyantly delivers throughout the album. At times the album does sag but just as you expect to see it trail off it picks up and continues to exhibit the brillance of the Scottish songstress. Admittedly this is a much more pop-oriented outing than Eye To The Telescope and even Drastic Fantastic. But she peels off layer by layer her suit and reveals the tiger inside with a effervescent of a veteran way beyond her years.
On this evidence KT Tunstall is unlikely to ‘Fade Like a Shadow’ for a while.