KT Tunstall has had a turbulent 12 months but now the singer is feeling rejuvenated and more relaxed than ever. And it shows in her new album, says Andy Welch.
Considering the story behind its creation, it makes sense that KT Tunstall’s fourth album is a record of two halves.
Back at the start of 2012, not long after coming to the end of a long touring schedule for her previous album, Tiger Suit, the Scottish singer was enjoying some time off, and had no plans to start thinking about the next project.
Then she met Howe Gelb, of Americana band Giant Sand, and everything changed. Before long, Tunstall was out in Tucson, Arizona, writing and recording songs for what would become the first half of Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon.
She was only there for 10 days, but Tunstall found herself with a handful of songs more stripped back than anything she’d written before.
Influenced by her surroundings and new producer, they were also rooted in alt-country, a genre she’d always loved but never explored.
Then her father died – and the turbulence didn’t end there. Tunstall also split from her husband, Luke, the drummer in her band, saying her father’s death gave her the courage she needed to make the change.
““By the time I went out for the second recording session in November, I felt like completely different person.
“Life had changed, and that’s why there’s a real noticeable difference between the two halves of this album.
Asked how she’s feeling today, Tunstall says “different”, adding that her priorities have completely shifted in the last year or so.
“I feel very at ease, all of a sudden,” she says. “If all goes well with this new album, great. If it goes badly, great too. Either way, I don’t mind.”
Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon is available now