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Tunes of I - Album Review: Restless

25 Nov 2015 // A review by Peter-James Dries

For the supporters, for anyone who has seen Tunes of I perform live or were impressed by their EP, T.O.I., which received high praise from muzic.net.nz on its release, I can attest that Restless, Tunes of I's debut album is worth the anticipation. Fleshed out as a seven-piece and helmed by a solid production team, this album captures the energy of a band that was born to be out on the main stage.

Restless is another child of the popular and largely successful crowd-funding model offered by Kickstarter, which for emerging bands is a good way to feel out an audience and find your niche, something I can’t imagine would have been that difficult for a band such as this.

Fashioned in the successful style of Six60, The Black Seeds, Kora, Fat Freddy’s Drop and other purveyors of the Dub/Roots sound we define as distinctly Kiwi, Tunes of I stand up with their contemporaries.

To stand out there are these subtle fusions within certain songs, little snippets of New Orleans calypso and injections of improvised Jazzy blues, that make Restless sound like the soundtrack to a Jamaican hard-boiled Neo-Noir film.

Strongest points of the album for me; the acoustic trail off that is the track See It Right, which is a track full of subtlety and moments of beauty and the emotional crux of the album, and also the progressive breakdown in the track Restless, which is restless in both name and style. That breakdown is sure to be a crowdpleaser, a real mover and shaker and coming closer to a genre I’m familiar with.

On a whole, Restless is a showcase of the band’s strengths, a testament to a level of musicianship beyond their years, and just a taste of what is sure to be a long and fruitful music career for Tunes of I.

Restless is available for pre-order from iTunes from November 2, or visit the website http://www.tunesofi.com/. You can hear their first taster Tautoko on the band’s YouTube channel.

 

About Tunes of I

Born out of the famed New Zealand School of Music in 2011, the then three piece band has spent the last six years expanding their repertoire (and members) into a full seven piece ensemble. Featuring a solid backbone of drums, bass, vocals and guitars, and complemented by some of Wellington's finest horn players, Tunes of I - or TOI as they are also known - is renowned around the country for their original, tight and refreshingly dynamic live performances.

Having recently celebrated six years as a band, TOI have been working hard to cement their place in the New Zealand music scene. Most notably, the past few years has seen the award-winning band advance in leaps and bounds from their humble beginnings. In 2014 they were recipients of funding from theaudience.co.nz, resulting in their music video Give In, which enjoyed more than six weeks on rotation on Edge TV. They then pursued more than 25 shows around the country in summer 2014/15, rivaled only by a tour of slightly more magnitude the following summer, which celebrated the release of their debut album Restless at the end of 2015.

Restless - the result of a Kickstarter campaign which raised more than $13 000 - was recorded in Surgery Studios by Lee Prebble, mastered by Mike Gibson of Munki Studios, and produced by Barnaby Weir of The Black Seeds and Fly My Pretties. Its release at the end of 2015 was celebrated with performances at Rhythm & Vines and Soundsplash, plus more than 25 shows around the country as support and headlining acts alike.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tunes of I

Releases

Wicked Ways
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Restless
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
T.O.I
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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