Tukten is the folk rock project of multi-instrumentalist Rob O'Brien. The artist recently released a ten-song self-titled album Tukten. I would say this is a warm mix of folk and rock for the most part. The artist mentions: “My main intention when creating this album was to produce something as honest and barebones as early home recordings from the ’70s and '80s. I wanted listeners to feel included in the process leaving in small mistakes and tape machine noises.”
The artist used a Tascam 488 tape machine, a ribbon mic and a compressor to record and I think it sounds great. I know there is a contentious debate about analog vs digital and although digital has gotten better by leaps and bounds in the last decade I love this sound.
The album starts with a short but beautiful piano melody called “I.” It’s pretty melancholy and nostalgic. The next song “Lessons In Love” is a full arrangement where we get guitar, piano, bass, drums and vocals. It’s emotive, sincere and heartfelt. I liked the vibe right away and the chorus is fantastic.
“Move On” is an emotive folk song. I loved the vocals on this song. It feels inviting, like a pillow in audio form. The full band comes back on “We Find Ways” and I was picking up on a ’70s vibe on this song. It’s again very sincere and heartfelt.
“II” is another lone piano. It’s short and used as a transitional piece. “Milk & Honey” has stripped back guitar and vocals and is another winner to my ears. The most intimate and melancholy song goes to “Westminster.” This might be my favorite song. It’s such a slow burn with arguably the best vocals on the album. I was reminded of Bonnie "Prince" Billy. The drum sound here fit perfectly.
The last piano transition is “III” except there are some angelic vocal harmonies here. “Heli Pilot” almost felt like a traditional folk song while the closer “An Old Friend of Mine” is another intimate song but this time it's piano and vocals.
This is an exceptional album. The songwriting, writing and delivery is top notch. There’s also a very nice flow to the album. Highly recommended.
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