KT Tunstall- Invisible Empires // Crescent Moon

22 June, 2013


By Katerina


You know that feeling, where you hear a song and a specific memory pops into your mind? Well whenever I hear KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" I remember me and best friend sitting in her bedroom, age 18, brainstorming about an assignment of hers at Art School. I had just bought "Eye to the telescope" KT's first album and we had it on repeat. 


(As it goes with most long lasting relationships, Penny and I are the opposite sides of the same coin. She is the calm one. I am the loud one. She thinks things twice; I push us of the cliff without thinking twice. She is summer, I am winter. You get the point.) 


Anyway, to cut the story short I ended up convincing her to make an essay using the songs of the album. One song, one illustrated story. 


Fast forward to today. Tunstall's latest album "Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon" was released on June 10th and it just so happened that once again I was on the phone with Penny trying to convince her to fill in applications for MOMA. 


As some of you might have already figured out deep down I am a sucker for folk and country sounds. And this album does not let me down. It is honest, the melodies, even though calm, are swarming with emotions and Tunstall's voice is at its best.


Once more Tunstall returns to her acoustic guitar and the piano and lets her voice do most of the work. A compelling almost haunting voice signing sad songs about sad times (ie her fathers death and her divorce) and how she eventually moved on.


"Invisible Empire" acts not only as the opening song of the album but as a reminder that Tunstall is back to her roots. From the first 30 seconds you realize that this is will not be an electronic album as her previous one "Tiger Suit". "Made of Glass" is probably one of the most beautiful songs of this album. Signing "We're all made of glass. All made of glass. Cheating ourselves to believe we'll be last. Like a fool, I thought it was true .." you can sense the pain brought forth from loss and the simple instrumental production of the song leaves you the needed space to feel as sad as she is and sadistically enough to enjoy it. 


"How you kill me" is one of my favorite lyrics wise. As a hidden hopeless romantic, this song hits a soft spot. "How you kill me. Taking up all of my patience. Leaving my temper a widow. But I don't feel like grieving. Should I swim into the sun? And meet you there In the half light. I'm taken by an undertow. I'm covered in your spell from head to toe. He's paying out the dividends. But everything will be nothing in the end. And I Know that everything's right with me. So come tell me just why it seems. To kill me?" It's the one song from the album that makes me want to pour a large glass of some short of alcohol, light a smoke and ponder about my life. That short of cheesy stuff. 


"Old man song" is the song I personally dedicate to my father. A country song with a great instrumental background, which begins on about the middle, full with emotions and passion. Seems like a confession from daughter to father. 


Piano filled "Yellow Flower" is a well written song ideal for Tunstall to showcase the depth of her voice, while "Crescent Moon" is the mark for the beginning of the second half of the album. It should be noted that this album was recorded in Tucson with Howe Gelb during two separate sessions in April and November 2012. As a result the sound of the album is divided in two. Which according to Tunstall this is why the album title is also divided in two. 


"Waiting on the Heart" is slightly more upbeat than the previous songs of the album, but yet again full of melancholia. "Feel it All" is the most critically acclaimed song of the album. And I cannot argue. Drums, electric guitar, emotion and Tunstall signing "So take what you want, leave what you don't need. And I'll go looking for you, you keep your eye out for me. 'Cause our heart is on a wire, sitting pretty like a bird. But the hunter is hunting and the eagle is us. And we can feel, feel it all, yes, we can feel, feel it all."


Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon" closes with a "band jam" of "Feel it All" and truth be told this is my favourite version of the song. It is slightly shorter but more grandeur than the original, it's a fine repetition of the best song of the album which closes a great acoustic session and easily makes me push play again. 


In the end, I like it. It suits me. It is an album I thoroughly enjoyed. Obviously it is not for those dedicated only to the sound of the likes of "Eighties Matchbox B Line Disaster", but hey, we all need an album to daydream and drink along with. 





Primary Genre: Folk Country


Secondary Genre: Rock


Release Date: 10 June 2013


Label: Virgin EMI


Like This And You'll Probably Also Like: Jenny Lewis and The Watson twins, The Pierces, The Civil Wars


Album Highlights: Feel it All, How You Kill me, Old Man Song, Made of Glass





Contributor mini-profile

Katerina Antonopoulou

Katerina Antonopoulou

10 Fluffy Reviews
Remember what Dread Astaire used to sing: “Shit happens when you party naked”. It sounds disturbingly fun. Don’t you think?
Mini bio

She almost failed math in high school because instead of solving integrals she kept reading "Q" and "NME". Luckily she is somewhat intelligent and managed to get her degree from Uni. She now works her way towards becoming a broker, which would be relatively easy if it wasn't for the fact that her social skills are equal to those of Mr Bean.

Favourite Bands / Artists
The Kills
The Eighties Matchbox B Line Disaster
The Libertines
Kings Of Leon
A.R.E. Weapons
Warren Zevon
Frank Sinatra
The Dead Weather
The White Stripes
Depeche Mode