Dan Tuffy – Letters of Gold
Label: Continental Record Services
Releasedatum: 24 april 2020
‘Letters of Gold’ sees a shift away from the story-telling country noir atmosphere of his debut towards a more groove based approach where bass, electronic and percussive elements come to the foreground on a big, rich production canvas. The importance of song nevertheless remains central to the whole thing with Dan’s rich, warm vocal sound bringing it all home.
The recording process involved multiple collaborations and file sharing with Dan’s favourite musicians from around the globe including bass players Madelief van Vlijmen and Judith Renkema (The Netherlands), co-producer, midi programmer and sound-scaper Michael Turner (Australia) and multi-instrumentalists Lucie Thorne & Matt Walker, who both appeared on his debut and again play prominent roles here.
The result is a modern offbeat and lushly orchestrated earthy sound, sublimely glued together by genius producer/mixer/mastering engineer Zlaya, Dan’s long time go-to compadre when it comes to putting the sheen on records.
There are 8 potent songs on this album, each of them treated vastly differently by those who contributed to them. It has nevertheless been welded into a solid, single piece of work. The opening track I Can’t Contain My Feeling has a Velvet Underground feel to it but nothing late 60’s about it whatsoever – totally 2020.
Sandy is a guitar driven groove piece for that long drive in the sun with one arm on the wheel and the other out the window, inspired by the pulse of early JJ Cale records.
Time Stole My Angel proves that synth pop can be rootsy too – a beautiful song about watching your children lose their innocence. There is also the swelling and luscious ode to Sydney legend Arthur Stace who secretly wrote the word Eternity in chalk all over the streets of the inner city for over 40 years last century, and Home Fires a song about Dan’s love of his home country, full of his feelings about the devastation that has swept across that continent recently.
Each of the songs on this album are, in one way or another, tributes; tributes to loss of innocence, longing, forgotten heroes, unmanageable feelings, loved places and, above all, the mystery and force of life energy that drives us. Many different sounds here, and much for the ears to discover but none of it gets in the songs way. A departure in style but it’s all Dan.