We’ve never paid much attention to Tunstall. Certainly, her breakthrough performance on ‘Later… with Jools Holland’ back in 2004 was arresting – performing unadorned beyond her carefully manipulated vocal loops, her guitar and a damn fine sense of rhythm, her vocal bruised and unforced. But, for us, there has always been a sense that her tunes were better off soundtracking some American TV drama, as opposed to inhabiting our ears for any prolonged amount of time.
And yet there’s so much to recommend the 35-year-old Edinburgh-born Brit Award winner: frank speaking and environmentally aware (her house is eco-friendly, her studio is solar-powered), Tunstall has never needed to sexy herself up to shift any of those five million records. But, most importantly, her third LP packs a punch. From the opener ‘Uummannaq Song’ with its Native American Indian sounding chants, to the mellow ‘Still a Weirdo’ full of hiccups and a skippy ’70s whistle, to the fantastically fuzzed out minor tune of ‘Difficult’, Tunstall has whittled down some 75 compositions to 11 choice cuts. We’re eating our words.