When Scottish troubadour KT Tunstall first burst onto the scene in 2004, it was obvious she was no typical female pop starlet. Her now-legendary performance on the U.K. music program "Later...With Jools Holland"
--during which she stunned all of Britain and upstaged veterans like the Cure with her loop-pedaled, one-woman-band act--made her an instant star on her native side of the pond, and soon America also fell in love with her unpretentious-yet-cocksure demeanor, guitar-slinging cool-chick attitude, and catchy acoustic-pop songs (one of which, "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree," was even covered by Katharine McPhee and Aly & AJ, albeit with not quite as much rock 'n' roll swagger).
Since that fabulously splashy beginning with her debut Eye To The Telescope
, KT has released two more solid studio albums, 2007's Drastic Fantastic
and this year's Tiger Suit
, but oddly, her success hasn't seemed to pave the way for similarly Hynde-sighted rocker girls with guitars. Popular female music at the moment is extremely sexualized and/or electronicized (see: Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Kylie, Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Pink, La Roux, Nicki Minaj, even Miley Cyrus these days), and unfortunately, singer-songstresses like KT are not in vogue.
Or maybe this is a fortunate
situation for Tunstall: It means there are very few younger pretenders to her queen-of-folk-pop throne. It means that KT stands alone, with a guitar always looped around her neck and loop pedals always at her motorcycle-booted feet, as a singularly refreshing and needed antidote to all that poker-faced pop.
However, this doesn't mean KT isn't willing to expand her horizons and experiment a little: Surprisingly, on Tiger Suit
she actually wrote with Pink collaborator Linda Perry and Ke$ha/Kylie/Britney song doctor Greg Kurstin. But the results are still very Tunstallian. She may sing about a "Glamour Puss," but at the end of the day she's "(Still A) Weirdo," a quirky girl with a unique voice.
KT recently came by the Yahoo! Music studio to play three songs from Tiger Suit
, and she also chatted freely about her career and the state of female pop, and pop in general, in 2010. Check out the footage below, and be glad there's still women like KT making music these days.
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