Túcan – Towers

This band was brought to my attention by someone posting it on our facebook page, describing it as “highly experimental flamenco”. I was immediately in love. Also I’d like to reiterate the fact that we do take submissions, so send us anything and everything you love and we’ll skim the best. Do you think I create new avant bands out of thin air? Nah, it’s all about connections.

So… Tower is Túcan‘s second full-length album, and their fourth release if we don’t count the singles that ended up on this album. Straight away, the band is a “big band” octet comprised of the rock trio of guitar, bass and drums, complemented by brass and string sections. They often describe their sound as “cinematic”, and I can kind of see why, in a way. There is a lot of space in their music, so that it’s easy to let your imagination go and envision things to which that music is played, as if it were the soundtrack to a scene.

As with most cinematic-sounding music, the focal point is not on the odd time sigs or impressive, in-your-face musicianship, but rather on subtler notes, counterpoints and countermelodies, chordal progressions and arrangement. Categorizing it as “highly experimental flamenco” is perhaps stretching it a little, and I have a hard time seeing the connection to traditional flamenco, but I’m confessedly a neophyte on the matter. Their first full-length, “Aliquot Strings”, had a much stronger flamenco base, but most of it, I feel, was lost when incorporating the big band formula. Maybe experimental post-folk would be more fitting, at least to me, but let’s not lose ourselves in categorical conundrums. The music is good, it’s great, and that’s what matters.

The acoustic guitars offer a familiar, warm tone that is just welcoming, no matter how dissonant they might get. There is also some distorted guitar in more intense moments! The brass and strings bring live to the compositions. The bass is spot on and has a great tone for the context, and the drums are an essential support and are varied and tastefully played. On some rare occasions, the violinist will step up and sing, like in “Prelude”, and I wish those moments lasted forever. I truly hope she is more present in the future.

Towers is a great album that is accessible yet interesting, and does not fall into stereotypes or clichés of the genre. It’s a fun listen, and I recommend you check them out!