Boomkat Product Review:
Beautifully serene widescreen vistas from Andrew Tuttle on his latest for Room 40 sidelabel, Someone Good. This one’s on a sun-bleached and countrified tip somewhere between Calexico instrumentals, The Hired Hand OST and Brian Eno’s ‘Another Green World'.
"Alexandra, Tuttle's fourth studio album, reflects the growth apparent in his three previous Room40 releases and commitment to developing a reputation in his home country of Australia in the time since his 2015 debut. Leaning upon the inspiration pulled from recent tour supports with contemporaries such as Steve Gunn, Ryley Walker and Calexico; Alexandra presents a true sonic landscape; a musical reflection of a rediscovered homeland. A magician of banjo and resonator guitar, Tuttle named the album after that Queensland street and suburb where he first created and fell in love with music. Alexandra is the sound of rediscovering one's environment, almost twenty years on, tracing it with an organic, expanding flow of energy.
The songs on Alexandra weave their way serenely and purposefully, tracing a gossamer path resembling the distinctive, scribble-like burrowing patterns left by moths on the scribbly gum trees which dot Tuttle's ambles through the Australian bushland backgrounding the suburban environment. Splashes of colour flutter through like rosellas in flight, with pedal steel, piano, strings and horns contributed by collaborators such as Chuck Johnson (Saariselka, VDSQ, Three Lobed, Scissor Tail), Tony Dupe (Saddleback), Sarah Spencer (Blank Realm), Gwenifer Raymond (Tompkins Square), Joel Saunders (Spirit Bunny) and Joe Saxby (These Guy).
As a child, Tuttle became obsessed with two things: cricket and playing guitar, however it was the latter of those two hobbies which eventually stuck, in spite of an initial indifference. Despite his eventual career path, that other childhood passion has stuck with him and there's nothing that Tuttle enjoys more than taking in a game of cricket at the Allan Border Field, a beautiful small ground about 3km from his house. "It's my happy place," he says, simply. "Absolutely picturesque, shaded grandstands and a grassy hill, great natural lighting. I think both music and cricket, in my mind, can be related on a linear level. Like how either a song or a cricket game can go for a short defined time or for an almost infinite time; with busy moments, reflective moments, meandering moments and resolution."
After finishing school around the turn of the century, Tuttle embraced a whole new world amid the DIY culture and venues of Brisbane, where issues with gentrification and noise complaints led to a lot of shows in alternative venues which boasted lineups that were often strikingly diverse and interesting. In late 2017, a fortuitous path of chance meetings, house-sitting and blissful spring days led Tuttle back to his childhood habitat, awakening an ardent awareness of place that was both intimately familiar and strangely new. This experience of psychogeography inspired Tuttle to delve into the soul of one little patch of the world.
Painting broad strokes of local colour amongst a deeply rooted spirit of place, Alexandra is a journey that tranquilises the restless mind. This expansive album cycles through a rediscovered environment, illuminating forgotten or overlooked landmarks, evoking the dreamy ritual of the "flâneur" (a romantic figure imagined by Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin) who wanders the streets, with the sole purpose to wander."