After many years battling her way up through the music industry in the UK, Scottish singer/songwriter KT Tunstall would eventually launch herself into the public music consciousness with the release of her album Eye To The Telescope, her debut album and one of the biggest album releases of 2004.
There was a strong sense of hype around this album even before it was released, with much of this hype coming from a live TV performance on Later… with Jools Holland in 2004 where she performed her single Black Horse & The Cherry Tree with loop pedal and just a day’s notice after rapper NAS had to pull out. It was the stand out performance on the night.
The album that would follow was the perfect culmination of the charisma and talent that the Scottish performer was building her sound around. A collection of wonderfully crafted folk-pop songs, many of which would become mainstays on radio playlists for the coming few years.
The album opens with the follow up single to Black Horse & The Cherry Tree, Other Side of the World, a telling demonstration that there was more to the songwriting of Tunstall than just foot stomping anthems. Across this track, we are presented with a commentary of the difficulties that exist in long distance relationships and why they don’t ever tend to work out. Lyrically provocative, with beautiful instrumentation, it found it’s way into the charts in Ireland, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
The opening tracks on the album lend themselves to a very strong start with Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, Another Place to Fall, Under The Weather, and Other Side of the World all going on to be well performing singles for the Scottish songwriter.
My personal favourite song on the record comes next in the form of the excellent Miniature Disasters, an acoustic guitar driven piece about being yourself despite little things that might go wrong. There was a grittiness and a defiance to this song that made it instantly stand out when I was listening to the album.
Other stand out moments on this album are the tracks, Heal Over, Silent Sea, and Suddenly I See, with the latter becoming one of the most popular singles by Tunstall.
Tracks like Heal Over and Silent Sea offering opportunities of introspection that were not as obvious on some of the other tracks.
Eye To The Telescope remains one of the most triumphant debut releases in British music from the last twenty years and marked Tunstall as a performer who was worth keeping an eye on.