A master of samples, intelligent lyricism and beautiful vocal harmonies, Tamu Massif releases his debut album Little Death Summer today. Reflecting on the process, he confesses “I went a little bit crazy recording this album. I deliberately worked on it with very little outside input and got lost in my own world. I find listening to music a sort of escapism. And that’s what I set out to create – something to get lost in.”
Little Death Summer was so named to reflect the central themes of the record. “’Little death’ is a double entendre” Tamu explains “it means ‘orgasm’ – from the french ‘la petite mort’. And also, obviously, ‘death’. All the songs are set in ‘Summer’ or longing for it.”
“Maybe it sounds like it should be a depressing record, but I don’t think it is. Summer permeates the twelve tracks, it’s the time of year that most makes you want to get out and explore the world around you. From the start, I wanted twelve tracks to reflect the twelve Olympians.
It’s a nostalgic collection of merged memories, based on true events, that I’ve taken the liberty to embellish. Many of the songs are about places as much as people. Different sections of songs take me to vivid places in my mind. I want to take you with me. I want to soundtrack your summer. If you like to chill and think about the world sometimes, I hope it might resonate on some level.”
Taking his moniker from the world’s largest volcano, discovered under the sea only 5 years ago at the same time as he was formulating the project, Tamu Massif enjoyed the idea of something so great being undiscovered for such a long time. He has always written and recorded surrounded by water, whether in his childhood home of Weston-super-Mare or in Naples or the Lake District. Those bodies of water are a constant in the flow of his music, also featuring heavily in his visuals.
His talent for finding beauty in the obscure and the intimate is evident throughout the album. Previous single ‘Senses’ is built up from recordings he took on his phone of some Italian friends, drunkenly arguing about Brexit; and ‘Niobe’ is an examination of our ability to take responsibility, or not, for events we seemingly have no control over; both demonstrating an astute perspective of the human condition.
Garnering attention over the course of two earlier EPs, Alba & Bala, as well as tours with the Japanese House, C Duncan and Shakey Graves and for producing much of Fenne Lily’s debut; Tamu is admired for his talent at gathering and warping field recordings as much as for his gift with harmonies and a distinct deep growl in his vocal. He embellishes his production, collecting sounds from his surroundings and using a phone to steal conversation from strangers and even a purring cat. Teaming up once again with long-time ally Ali Chant (Youth Lagoon, Perfume Genius, Aldous Harding) for his mixing sensibilities, the final result is not something as sparse or lo-fi as its parts, and instead feels beautiful, bold and unique.
The debut album Little Death Summer from Tamu Massif is released 29th March 2019.
20th April – Perranporth, UK – The Watering Hole
21st April – Falmouth, UK – The Gylly Beach Café
25th April – Brussels, BE – La Machine
26th April – Munich, DE – Zehner
27th April – Cologne, DE – Theater der Wohngemeinschaf
28th April – Muenster, DE – Pension Schmidt
29th April – Hamburg, DE – Nochtwache
1st May – Berlin, DE – Flux FM Bergfest
3rd-5th May – Liverpool – Liverpool Sound City
3rd-5th May – Leeds – Live at Leeds
3rd-5th May – Newcastle – Hit The North
7th May – Dublin, IE – Ruby Sessions
15th May – London, UK – The Islington
17th May – Birmingham, UK – Dark Horse
6th June – Manchester, UK – The Castle Hotel
7th June – Bristol, UK – Rough Trade