Tusks - 'Artificial Flame'

  • 2 min read

Following two revered albums, ‘Dissolve’ in 2017 and ‘Avalanche’ in 2019, London-based electronic songwriter and producer Tusks, aka Emily Underhill, has returned with her new single ‘Artificial Flame’ out now via One Little Independent Records.

On ‘Artificial Flame’, deeply resonant synth work and spacious guitars smoulder underneath emotionally charged layers of heavenly
vocal harmonies. Meticulously produced alongside composer & producer Tom Andrews, Tusks pushed herself further during the creative process, slaving over each snare sample and the tone of each note.

The artist shared, “I went down to Devon alone to write. At that point I'd also realised I was no longer in love with my partner at the time and Artificial Flame is all about coming to that realisation and processing it. It was really intense. I didn’t really speak to anyone for days and there was this insane storm which came over. Weirdly though, that actually ended up inspiring the chorus hook because I couldn’t light a fire without using a load of firelighters, which then made this massive green flame. I was kinda staring at it then the phrase Artificial Flame popped into my head and seemed to sum up everything I was feeling about the relationship.”

Anyone familiar with her career to date will note that Tusks’ relationship with music as a means to communicate vulnerability is well documented. There’s a raw, exposed nature to her writing that feels authentic and intimate. She often describes the complications and subtleties of relationships in a way that’s reflective and relatable.

Early on Tusks drew comparisons to Sigur Rós and Explosions In The Sky, gaining support from the likes of BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac and Huw Stephens, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Mixmag, MOJO, Wonderland and more. She released her debut album ‘Dissolve’ to critical acclaim, produced alongside Brett Cox (Jack Garratt, Alt J, Marika Hackman). Second album ‘Avalanche’ led Tusks further into the world of grunge and shoegaze. Taking inspiration from My Bloody Valentine, Marika Hackman and Wolf Alice, the album went on to gain her support from ever widening audiences across the world, as well as syncs on hit shows such as Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why’.

Having previously supported Khurangbin, Ásgeir, Bear’s Den and Submotion Orchestra, Tusks embarked on her first European and UK headline tour at the start of 2020, including nights at London’s prestigious Village Underground (which she recorded and released as a live album) and Berlin’s Berghain Panorama Bar. In 2021 she collaborated with CJ Mirra on the soundtrack for feature film ‘A Banquet’.

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