Tjutjuna are a four-piece outfit from Colorado, consisting of childhood friends. They ply their trade in a strange mixture of rock types (particularly of the space, psych and post varieties) but are also partial to music of an altogether blissful flavour.
‘Mosquito Hawk’ is a typically manic display of flamboyant keyboards, punishing percussion and driving guitars; you can visualise them pushing against the speakers fighting to get out. ‘Rise/Set’ is – to be frank – more of the same pummeling rhythms but also begins to break in to the realms of dreampop on its otherwise tortuous journey. It’s quite a relief, therefore, when ‘Fist’ comes next. This elegant piano-led piece is definitely the calm after the storm.
It proves be a brief respite, though, for the droning ‘Tobermorey’ soon restores normal order. ‘The Swish’, however, is the most enigmatic offering. The drums kick in like a steady train whilst a weird but rather beautiful melody surround it. Finally, ‘Tatanka Spirit’ is gentler still and by the end of it the heavy psych rock which dominated the first half of the record feels like a distant memory.
The group may well persevere with their deeply textured layers of instruments but Tjutjuna are one of those bands who sound better and more original the subtler they are. It will be interesting to see if they focus on the quiet or the loud next time.