Eye To The Telescope


Was that really a boisterous KT Tunstall bellying up to the Stubbs’ bar alongside MT at South By Southwest in Austin last year? The raven-haired Scottish songstress wasn’t listed among the night’s performers; turns out she’d bum-rushed her way onto the bill, her cheekiness paying dividends in the way of several hundred new fans. Yours truly simply marveled at how her accent grew more pronounced with every gulp of her drink. Now comes Eye to the Telescope, finally enjoying a belated U.S. release and already getting that all-important "World Café" NPR seal of approval. She’s been rightly compared to Norah Jones (the throaty, low-slung vocals) and Beth Orton (the charismatic, slippery delivery — check opening cut "Other Side Of The World," which sounds like Orton covering Tom Petty’s "Free Falling"). And like those two artists Tunstall isn’t afraid of covering a lot of stylistic ground either: In addition to pop, ETTT skitters schizophrenically through R&B, gospel-jazz, trip-hop, alt-country and folk. In the sassy, strummy and unbelievably catchy "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," Tunstall even juggles all of those balls at the same time (imagine Joss Stone if she’d drop the stylized shtick and just rock the hell out). "Miniature disasters and minor catastrophes/ Bring me to my knees," confesses Tunstall in "Miniature Disasters," another edgy anthem. Meanwhile, material this woozysexycool might bring you to your knees. The booze is optional.

Fred Mills writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.