The UK-based singer/songwriter Ed Tullett has quietly made a name for himself in the indie scene over the last few years. His use of electronic beats combined falsetto vocals has resonated with his ever growing fan base. Validation of his success thus far lies within the nine tracks of his new full-length album, Fiancé. This album is similar to what fans can expect from the artist, but just different enough to be refreshing to long time listeners.
Fiancé opens with one of the most haunting tracks on the album – “Irredeemer.” The song begins with a delicate duet between an acoustic guitar and synth. After the brief intro Tullett quietly joins the instruments with his falsetto vocals. The delicately balanced ensemble creates an ambiance that’s hauntingly beautiful. This is the track he seems to take the most creative approach to in terms of vocal style and overall composition. It’s not a song that could easily be confused with any of the others.
Tullett has always utilized electronic elements in his music, but on this record the synth plays a larger role. Its imposing presence on key parts of songs like “Malignant” and “Saint” creates a sense of doom and gloom. The synth is a versatile tool, and Tullett also utilizes it to create an atmospheric sound. A prime example of this utilization is in the song “Ply.” He uses the electronics to create an other-wordly sound that is amplified by his impassioned singing. It might even give fans goosebumps the first time they listen to it.
What makes Tullett a unique artist, and consequently makes his songs unique, is his lyricism. His songs read like poems, so in turn the songs have a rhythmic cadence to them much like a poem would. Some lyrics from “Saint” highlight this style:
wreath for your body,
your pretty vowels, dour sea.
Hush the laic drown,
swoon through your eyelids,
your pretty mouth, your dowry.
The tracks “Posturer” and “Canyine” are a bit more on the poppy side – much like the sound on Trawl EP. They offer the listener a brief pick me up before Tullett dives back into his ethereal sound with the remaining tracks. Of those, “Saint” is easily the best. The dramatic electronics and surreal lyricism really makes this track stand out among the rest.
It’s quite ambitious for a young, relatively new musician to tackle such a complex album. Tullett has done so successfully though. Fiancé is a surreal experience comprised of atmospheric instruments, ethereal vocals and poetic lyricism. Anyone who enjoys musicians like Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Bon Iver or Sigur Rós can find something enjoyable in this album.