I’m trying to imagine the conversation.
“OK, we’ve got this singer-songwriter to market. I think her name is KT Tunstall or something”
“I mean, look at the image she had for her last album. Rainbow braces, jeans, big boots. So bloody singer songwriter-ish. Could even be a hippy”
“Yeah, we can’t have people thinking that. Album sold quite well though. Surprising”
“Wonder why. Still, we’re talking about breaking new markets with this new one. Gotta improve the image somehow”
“So what’s gonna do it?”
“I’m thinking more glitzy. Yeah. It’s 2007 after all. People like a bit of the glitz”
“So what then, sparkly dress?”
“Yeah, let’s take it away from all this scruffy singer songwriter bollocks. We want her to appeal to people who live in Kensington and have yachts. Let’s think flash cocktail bar!”
“That’s it. And add a big fuck-off sparkly guitar. And have an action shot. Yes! That’s more rock and roll, isn’t it?”
“Yeah. Let’s do it!”
[sound of high fives round the table]
A note to regular readers of this blog: You may be surprised at me featuring KT Tunstall, but unlike most of these mass-marketed singer songwriters, I actually do have a bit of time for her. Two reasons.
First, she used to be part of the Fence Collective, that fine group of folkies from Fife, before she was plucked out and groomed for stardom. Mind you, greater fame hasn’t left our KT with too big a head, and she hasn’t forgotten her old pals. She contributed backing vocals to King Creosote’s last album, and was found playing with them as recently as a couple of months ago.
Second, she’s actually quite good live. I never really warmed to her debut Eye to the Telescope album. Just too much sheen. Then I saw her at a festival a couple of years ago and she showed some of the energy and quality that seemed to have been glossed over by the producers of the album. I was actually quite impressed. Good voice, decent songs and you know that loop thing that she’s now well know for doing? That was probably a skill developed by time served playing the less glamorous parts of this country.
And now she’s got a new single out. It’s called Hold On and it’s really quite good. Pure pop – not even reaching the three minute mark. I make no apologies about liking this. We’ll have none of yer indie-snobbery here. Just try to forget that her new album’s called Drastic Fantastic (out in September), and has that cover. I hope all that doesn’t bode too badly for the rest of the songs on it.
Download: KT Tunstall – Hold On