London artist Emily Underhill follows up 2014’s ‘Ink’ EP with the impressive ‘False’

London-based artist Emily Underhill has been building a name for herself since releasing ‘Ink’, a four-song collection of gorgeous, atmospheric pop music released under the name Tusks two years ago. Her newest EP, ‘False’ (and her first for the One Little Indian label) retains much of the stillness of ‘Ink’ and it also finds her stretching out and creating even more expansive and lavish textures.

The title track, for example, begins on a hushed note that gradually builds to a sweeping climax of urgent post-punk guitars and crisp, explosive drumming. Underhill is at her most compelling though, when she strips everything away. The eerily gorgeous ‘For You’ for example features little else but clicking percussion, her ethereal voice mixed with pitch shifted harmonies, and mournful pianos that resemble a fog bank gliding across a frozen body of water.

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She writes torch-songs that sometimes feel like the kinds of thoughts that come creeping into a restless mind in the middle of the night. ‘False’ was written about being deeply in love with someone and realising that you really don’t know them anymore. On ‘Ivy’, she finds herself running back to a suffocating relationship that she likens to the effects of poison ivy exposure. She has an arresting voice capable of piercing through the hazy lushness with an almost startling sense of clarity that only heightens the emotional impact of her songs even further.

There’s something intensely cathartic about her music that makes it so appealing, it’s geared to an extent for a singular mood, yet at the same time, Underhill creates the kind of atmosphere you could just as easily zone out to without ever having to connect with her words, because in the end, the music speaks volumes on its own.

‘False’ is out on the 10th June via One Little Indian.

Tusks review was written by Jeremy Monroe, a GIGsoup Contributor. Edited by Stephen Butchard.

tusks 'False' EP review

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