Emily Underhill doesn’t mess around. The artist – more commonly known these days as TUSKS – only released acclaimed EP False in summer of last year, yet she is already back with her new single ‘Toronto’. The track is atmospheric and grand, seeing Underhill develop her signature sound from the soothing and understated electronica of tracks like ‘False’ and ‘Torn’, and marking her as one to definitely keep an eye on in 2017.
With an as-of-yet untitled album pencilled in for release later this year as well as a solitary London date in the diary and an appearance at Are You Listening? Festival, we can only ponder what great music she has in store for us over the next few months. To keep us all at bay, Underhill put together a playlist of chamber pop tracks that will have to suffice until she shares more! Scroll down to listen to the playlist and find out more about ‘Toronto’…
You’ve just dropped your stunning new track ‘Toronto’! It has a very grand and cinematic sound that differs from your previous music. What spurred your change of direction?
I’m not sure – I guess I’ve always thought my previous releases have a cinematic sound to them but maybe it just comes through more on this one. I think it’s a growth from my previous releases so everything’s more exaggerated, including it sounding cinematic.
Was there anything in particular that was inspiring you when you were writing the track?
There’s a lot of Daughter and Sigur Ros in ‘Toronto’. My guitarist and I had been travelling across Canada to Niagra Falls the week before I wrote it too so maybe the imagery of that snuck in subconciously and inspired the production of the track. I think writing it alone in Canada makes it lyrically way more vulnerable too.
‘Toronto’ precedes your as-of-yet untitled debut album. You are clearly maturing as an artist; what can you tell us about the album to whet out appetite?
Ah thank you! I’ve tried to incorporate a lot of different styles and genres into it – a mixture of my more electronic stuff and bigger indie tracks like Toronto. There’s a lot of new unheard music in there which you’ll just have to wait for..
Your previous singles ‘Torn’ and ‘False’ – taken from the False EP – have an understated, smooth and sultry vibe, often evoking thoughts of trip-hop. Were there any particular influences or artists that you were drawing from when you were creating your EP?
I guess I find it hard noting exact influences on tracks because I’ve always had a love for so many genres and artists, so it’s hard to remember exactly who I was listening to or thinking of at the time those tracks were being created. Big influences on the more trip-hop side of things would probably be Burial, Portsihead, Massive Attack, Flying Lotus & Bonobo though.
You’ve been announced for Are You Listening? Festival this April, which is in conjunction with charity Reading Mencap! Are you excited? What made you want to take part?
Yes I’m so excited! It’ll be my first festival of the year and it’s so exciting to play amongst so many other amazing artists and raise money for Reading Mencap. I’ve always seen the line ups on previous years and wanted to go, so its great to be playing this year.
Who else are you excited to see at Are You Listening?
Definitely The Big Moon and Spring King, they’re such amazing live bands- especially at festivals.
What kind of atmosphere do you try to create with your live show? What can audiences expect?
I think it ends up being a pretty intimate atmosphere; the tracks are pretty personal and I guess I’ve been lucky with audiences that they tend to engage with that and listen.
We asked you to create a playlist of your favourite chamber-pop tracks! Who have you chosen and why?
I’m not going to lie- I definitely had to google what Chamber Pop was but I think i’ve got it down!
TUSKS plays Are You Listening? Festival on Saturday 22nd April. Her latest single ‘Toronto’ is available to purchase now.