Emily Underhill discusses past, present, future, and her debut album
Over the last several years, British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Emily Underhill, aka Tusks, has been mastering her sonic craft. She is now finally releasing her debut LP, Dissolve. Through her ravenous appetite for music and art, she has managed to find an individual voice and create a sound that mixes electronic, experimental, and ambient layers upon a foundation of indie-pop.
Tusks’ music has both a cinematic and tactile quality to it. The sounds wash over the listener as vivid images projected through precise, sparse lyrics. The musician’s aural palette is distinct as she meticulously blends a diverse background of sources and personal experiences which reveal the extensive deliberation behind this well-measured debut.
ARTISTdirect caught up with Tusks to learn about her influences, the music that currently sums up her life, and the new album.
Hello – Please introduce yourself.
Hello, I’m Tusks
Where are you right now?
At my parents house in the South of England
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
I’m releasing my debut album in October – I produced it with Brett Cox between a couple of studios in London, our bedrooms and a barn in France. It’s a pretty personal record – it’s mainly about things I’ve been through and relationships of mine -you can have candy with it if you like.
How do you describe your music to new friends?
Dark, evolving pop
Other than Tusks, what should your hometown be known for?
Other than The Battle Of Hastings, my hometown should be known for some pretty good beaches
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to you (and that your relationship with it/them). Can we see a photo?
Haha i’m actually in a pretty bare room… My KRK headphones are here that I’ve used for about 7 years and written loads of tracks on. They’re actually quite sentimental to me now.
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
I remember hearing So Long Lonesome by Explosions in the Sky as a teenager and getting really excited about it – it was just so euphoric and took ages to build and had all these layers of instrumentation – it probably influenced how i create music quite a lot.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
I think it’s pretty generic advice but just work really hard- it’s a tough industry and you need a lot of drive and determination and love for the music to do it.
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
That’s really tricky to just pick one person. I’m going to pick two – Brian Cox because i’m getting really into learning about physics, and Prince to bring the party
What song best sums up your life right now?
Daughter – Fossa
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
The crowd reactions on the Asgeir tour i went on were amazing – pretty much every show was sold out and they were such attentive audiences
Take a moment to dream – Where do hope to be a year from now?
Touring the world
What’s your next step towards that dream?
Touring some of the world?