Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 27 September 2020

Dead Club: Folktronica Pioneers Tunng Turn Fascination With Death Into An Album Project

Death was a subject that had long fascinated Tunng's Sam Genders; a preoccupation not born out of the macabre so much as a curiosity about the fundamental purpose of existence — but also a hesitancy he had noticed around others' grief; a wish to be supportive in the right way, to say the right thing in the face of loss. 

Tunng are often associated with the folktronica genre, due to the electronic influences evident in some of their work.

Back in 2018 Tunng released their sixth album Songs You Make At Night, which reunited founding members Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay and the rest of the Tunng original line-up for the first time since 2007's Good Arrows.

Now they return with a second single from their forthcoming album Tunng Presents…DEAD CLUB in the form of Death is the New Sex.

"Whilst researching this project I've been struck by just how much of a taboo the subject of death is in our culture," explains Genders.

"Partly because of the ways in which people have responded when I explained what we were working on. 

"One person was seriously worried I might be suicidal, and others clearly felt it was an odd thing to explore. 

"Partly because of my own reactions. I often found myself nervous when talking about death or grief, or reaching for a socially acceptable way of phrasing an idea and struggling to find one. 


"And yet, once the awkwardness has passed, I've also found that people are often eager to talk about how death and grief have affected their lives. 

"Sometimes as if they'd be waiting far too long for the opportunity to unburden themselves.

"Interestingly I feel that in many modern settings people are more comfortable taking about sex than death.

"We've journeyed so far in the last 60 years when it comes to talking about sex and I think you can make a very good case for that being a good thing. 

"I expect the average person knows more about avoiding STIs or unwanted pregnancy, and is more likely to be comfortable with the idea of sexual pleasure or their own sexuality than ever before.

"I'm sure a lot of good has come from that. Now it seems like people are beginning to talk about death more. 

"Imagine if we were so comfortable talking about death that everyone in our culture had the skills to support people who are grieving or to plan for the end of life for themselves or a loved one. 

"It seems like there's so much to gain. Palliative care is one obvious example of how more knowledge and awareness might help people live better lives.

"The song was inspired in part by my conversation with palliative care physician and writer Kathryn Mannix and her wonderful book 'With The End In Mind'. 

Lyrically the song has clearly been through the Tunng filter. I wrote the words with a fantastical, almost comic book quality in places but it's not flippant. I think these are genuinely important ideas."

You can read more about the DEAD CLUB project via the band's site here.

by: Mike Cobley



Related links

Tunng

Share    

Credit Andy Sturmey

Brighton four-piece Black Honey feel now is the time for the next instalment of their story – ‘Written & Directed” – which sees the band deliver one, very singular, message – a ten track mission statement that aims to unashamedly plant a flag in the ground for strong, world-conquering women. 

Hayley Ross is trading her dreamy south-coast trademarks for a darker, rootsier palette of sounds on her forthcoming EP.

What would you do if you could relive your birthdays and have your childhood back? In Mark Roland Langdale's new book, The Toy Museum, one man journeys back in time to regain some happiness and joy in life.

Blondie's Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke will be offering up Brighton a double female-fronted band tour when they take to the road with the Shirley Manson fronted Garbage. next year.
Credit Helmut Newton

Helmut Newton: 100 Years will be celebrated later this month on what would have been the late photographer's birthday. 

Brad Hanson and Sam Hughes from Littlehampton are collectively known by over one million fans online as The Bald Builders, a duo who in true Del Boy style, made a million, lost a million and now look to rise from the ashes once more and support a cause very close to their hearts. 

Fabrica, Brighton's Centre for Contemporary Art, has issued an open call for artists to submit work to be displayed in the large scale window of the city centre art gallery.
Credit Michael Carter

The Ocean Film Festival World Tour is bringing a brand-new collection of ocean-themed films to Brighton front rooms this October and November, in its first ever virtual edition.

Hailing from both sides of Hadrian's Wall, yllwshrk are more at home in classical concert halls than the Camden dive bars, and more accustomed to bows and mallets than the amps and synths of the alt-rock scene.

Mirrored is the new single from Southern-based Taurian, an intriguing new musician who fuses industrial & hard rock influences with trip-hop & electronica atmospherics to create an original sound.

A Sussex resident fought through her disability, undertaking a 29-mile walking challenge—the equivalent distance of all three of the UK's tallest peaks combined: Ben Nevis at 11.5 miles; Snowdon at 9.5 miles and Scafell Pike at 8 miles—to raise vital funds for Bliss, a UK charity for babies born prematurely or sick.
Credit Penelope Fewster

Charleston, in East Sussex, once the home and country meeting place of the Bloomsbury Group, is preparing to open its doors to the public again in spring 2021 with an Art Happens crowdfunding campaign in which every donation towards the target will be doubled thanks to match funding from loyal supporters.

Waiting for a long-haul flight from Western Australia to London might seem like hell to some but it has led to the new single, Killing Time, by Brighton singer Laura Mitchell.
Credit Andy Sturmey

Thanks to vital support from Arts Council England's (ACE) Culture Recovery Fund, Brighton Dome will be able to adapt its historic venue to comply with new regulations to allow live performances to commence again. 

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd