SCOTTISH singer-songwriter KT Tunstall will play York Barbican on February 24 on her 16-date tour in 2023.
Tickets for her only Yorkshire gig will go on sale on Friday at 10am via ticketmaster.co.uk, gigsandtours.com, kttunstall.com and yorkbarbican.co.uk.
The BRIT Award winner and Grammy nominee, from Edinburgh, will showcase songs from her imminent seventh studio album, Nut, set for release on September 9 on EMI.
“This will be my first full UK headline tour since the pandemic, and I’m so looking forward to playing a completely different show with a brand-new line up of amazing musicians,” says Tunstall, 47. “Included in that line-up will be the brilliant Andy Burrows, of Razorlight, on drums, who played on Nut. He’ll also be opening the gigs with his own excellent show.”
Nut completes the trilogy of albums that Tunstall began recording seven years ago. Each part relates to the three existential parts of ourselves: 2016’s Kin = Spirit, 2018’s Wax = Body and 2022’s Nut = Mind.
Latest single Private Eyes is out now in the wake of I Am The Pilot and another taster track, Canyons.
“Nut is the culmination of a seven-year project,” Tunstall says. “It’s the final part of a trilogy of records that has spanned probably the most extreme and profound period of change in my life. The personal arc of these three records has been pretty extraordinary for me.”
Explaining the inspiration behind the album title, Tunstall says: “Growing up in Scotland, if someone was losing their temper you would say, ‘Dinny lose yer Nut’!
“I love that the word also means a seed. The album artwork is all about the brain being a garden; you reap what you sow, you need to keep the weeds at bay, and there is an almost supernatural beauty to when things blossom.”
Tunstall first made her mark with her 2004 debut, Eye To The Telescope, propelled to multi-platinum sales by the global hits Black Horse And The Cherry Tree and Suddenly I See.
Introspective folk and propulsive rock remain the cornerstones of her songwriting. “There are two immediate, recognisable pillars of my style,” she says. “I have this troubadour, acoustic guitar-driven emotional side. Then there’s definitely an electrified rock side of my work with rawness and teeth.”
After selling everything she owned and moving to California in 2015, Tunstall took a break before spending the next seven years on the album trilogy. “Kin was an absolute Phoenix out of the ashes,” she says. “It was the result of a profound personal shift and finding my feet again after facing some really hard truths.”
Among other things, Tunstall’s father died, making her realise she was unhappy in her marriage, in turn leading to her divorce.
More challenges awaited when she released Wax. “Halfway through the tour for Wax, I completely lost my hearing in my left ear overnight, which never returned,” she says. “I lost an extremely important physical part of my body while touring a record all about the body.”
Understandably, Tunstall was wary about what might happen while making her mind record, Nut. Cue a global pandemic, but now that the trilogy is complete, she has the perspective to appreciate the solace and healing she experienced as the songs unfolded.
“I did not foresee how visceral an experience it would be making this music about myself. It became the audio accompaniment to a deeply transformative period of my life. It’s the soundtrack to me creating a new version of myself.”
Tunstall last lit up York Barbican on Bonfire Night, November 5, in 2016.