Album #305: Tunng – Tunng Presents…Dead Club

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: London, England
  • Label: Full Time Hobby
  • Best Track: Sdc

Not a huge amount on my radar from Friday’s releases, so it’s an opportunity to explore something new.

Tunng are an avant-garde folk band known for, among other things, using seashells in their music. From what I can gather, their albums tend to be heavily themed, and it’s not hard to work out from the title that this one is about mortality.

Not surprisingly, it’s not always a confortable listen, sometimes bringing up awkward and rarely thought-of aspects from the fallout of a death. ‘SDC’ comes up with one of the most memorable, when it discusses finding “a box of old dildos” while cleaning out possessions.

The explains why we get a picture of a dildo on the cover, among other items alluding to each of the songs. ‘The Last Day’ is challengingly blunt too, while ‘Death is the New Sex’ reminds us, mid-Covid, that death is “coming to fuck us all”.

I don’t necessarily think it’s a gloomy record though, and it certainly isn’t an unkind one. One of the most moving tracks is ‘Tsunami’ (“Time is a healer we sang in the dark/We meant it in kindness but it broke your heart”), and like ‘Scared to Death’, it’s a supportive and understanding piece about something that confuses and frightens everyone.

Interspersed with various quotes about dying, I see it as a humanist album, reflecting my personal views that life is for one to discover one’s own meaning in. A really fascinating and well put together album.

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