Album Review: KT Tunstall, 'KIN'

Supplied publicity photo, 2016
KT Tunstall Supplied publicity photo, 2016

“I’ve finally made peace with being a pop songwriter,” KT Tunstall says in press materials for her latest album, KIN.

You can hear the unbridled joy Tunstall brings to this collection of 11 sparkling pop-rock songs. KIN sounds like an artist finally letting loose: every track propels forward like a sonic force of nature with hook-filled verses, bridges, choruses and middle-eights.

It’s an about-turn for Tunstall, whose 2013 folk-rock collection Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon was a brilliant, but melancholy affair. KIN is like the sunny post-script to Invisible Empire, the weary traveler emerging from the road, finally at the intended destination wiser and looking forward to the future.

“Here I am,” Tunstall proudly refrains near the end of album highlight “It Took Me So Long To Get Here, But Here I Am.” It’s not just a pop hook, but the truth.

KIN is a welcome return to Tunstall’s pop roots. Here she is — and she’s fabulous.