Release Date: Sep 9, 2016
Record label: Caroline
KT Tunstall processed loss on 2013's Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon, mourning the death of her father and her marriage, so 2016's KIN functions as a counterpoint to that melancholy: it's a bright celebration of a new start. Tunstall relocated to Southern California and soaked up the sun, throwing herself into positivity with the assistance of producer Tony Hoffer, who previously helmed albums for Beck and Belle and Sebastian. Neither of those acts provide much of a touchstone for KIN, a record whose fleeting moody moments evoke either parts of Tunstall's past or perhaps the inspirational rallying call of Sara Bareilles but is dominated by saturated neon colors reminiscent of Tegan and Sara's new wave makeover.
KT Tunstall broke through in 2004 with the infectious, foot-stomping "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," a Scottish girl doing the whole onstage loop-pedal thing back when Ed Sheeran was still a wee lad. But after a Grammy nomination and a follow-up hit with "Suddenly I See" (Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign theme, no less), it's mostly been diminishing returns since then. Kin is Tunstall's first album since moving to L.A.
KT Tunstall has always seemed something of a restless soul. In the last couple of years, she’s dabbled in film soundtrack work, decamped to Arizona to record an album of acoustic folk tunes with Howe Gelb and even considered retiring from music altogether after relocating to Los Angeles. The move to the West Coast seemed to inspire her though, and now she’s reappeared with her fifth studio album KIN, which she describes as her move back into ‘pop mode’.