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Tula

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In the old Swedish language, the word ‘tula’ means to wander far into the forest. It’s also a fitting choice of name for this artist, who’s rustic and grainy folk-inspired songs are deeply evocative of the backwoods of her home nation. Hailing from Scandinavia, Tula grew up on the Swedish island province of Gotland, in the Baltic Sea, and there’s a rich yet melancholy feel to the two tracks on this debut single which seemingly harks back to idyllic landscapes and the enchanting beauty of nature.

This midwinter crackle of a release is as much the voice of a lost artist ala Bunyan or Bonnie Dobson sound tracking a Borowczyk screening whilst accompanied by the asthmatic wheeze of Ivor Cutlers Harmonium. Written together with Cameron Miller (an acolyte of Badly Drawn Boy, Emiliana Torrini and Adrian Crowley), these songs were recorded in Miller’s London studio and draw on a raft of personal experiences, including letters for the island and people met there. Lead track ‘No Name’ could draw comparisons with fellow countryman Ass; a circular melody picked out on acoustic guitar is quietly insistent, like a hunter stalking its prey, twisting rhythmically and underpinned by Tula’s beguiling vocals. Anyone who’s fallen under the spell of Victoria Bergsman’s output as Taken By Trees is likely to be equally transfixed by Tula’s turn on this chiming masterpiece of fragile folk with a macabre undertone. The sweeping elegance of ‘Remind Me’ is an altogether more subdued affair, glacial in pace and tone but somehow brimming with a characteristic sense of warmth which unites both of these tracks.

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