2012 and the years that followed saw a seismic shift in outlook-the loss of her father, a divorce, and a relocation to Venice Beach, California.
After a period of healing, soul-searching, and a change of scenery, 2016 hailed the arrival of the first of a trilogy of albums, the critically acclaimed UK top 10 album-‘KIN’. The trilogy evokes, separately and in sequence, spirit, body and mind. With ‘KIN’ being her phoenix-from-the-ashes ‘spirit’ album, 2018 marked the second offering of that trilogy, the ‘body’ album ‘WAX’-released October 5th.
Speaking about her 6th studio album, Tunstall says of ‘WAX’ “I knew before I started writing that I wanted it to be an electric guitar record. It had to be visceral, about the physical, and the weight of that, and the obstacles of that. It’s a record about human-ness, which we so often just write off as ‘flaws’.”
The title a nod to the viscous pungency of one of the body’s natural substances. “Wax evokes colonies of bees, candlelight, the material that the first long-playing records were made of”, she explains, “but more than that, wax is produced inside your own head. You unconsciously create it, and then weirdly that same basic substance has been used for centuries to make the most lifelike replicas of human beings. It has a life glow to it. It sticks to you. We have these strange, ancient connections and relationships with wax. How odd is it that the body produces all these substances from all these holes!” laughs this stoutly down-to-earth singer, songwriter and guitarist.
The last few years have seen something of a creative rebirth for Tunstall. Upon relocating to the west coast of the USA, she was accepted as one of six annual fellows for the Sundance Film Institute’s Composers Lab (hosted by George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch in Northern California) and has since scored music for short and feature films.
She has also been awarded the Inspirational Artist gong at the Women In Music Awards and was chosen as the first ever female Grand Marshal (following the likes of Sir Sean Connery) to lead April 2018’s annual New York Tartan Week parade. In May 2018 she and Mike McCready, of legendary multi-million selling Pearl Jam, released a cover of Tom Petty’s huge hit single ‘I Won’t Back Down’ with proceeds going to Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation.
In 2018, KT performed sold-out intimate headline shows across the UK and US and toured worldwide supporting acclaimed artists including Simple Minds, The Pretenders, Barenaked Ladies and Gary Barlow.
So far in 2019, KT has been on a headline tour across the UK and Europe with her all-female band, played at festivals all over the UK (including a headline set at Glastonbury and sets at Isle of Wight, HebCelt, Larmer Tree and Car Fest), toured across the US & Canada, supported Hall & Oates on their UK arena tour and played shows in Japan and China. By the end of 2019, KT will have also played live dates in the Netherlands, Mexico and Brazil.