Music » Local Music

Direct, but not simple

Bobby Harlow on recording King Tuff

by

comment

The Go and Conspiracy of Owls singer-guitarist Bobby Harlow produced this sophomore self-titled LP from New England's wispy-voiced, fuzz-sweetened, garage-storming pop auteur King Tuff. Harlow said he was attracted particularly by Tuff's "direct way" of songwriting. "Directness doesn't mean simple," said Harlow, who hosted Tuff for recording here in Detroit in February.

Tuff gives listeners "the opportunity to visualize the true-life scenarios" inspiring his lyrical depictions. "Tuff and his audience are all insiders. Inside themselves." 

Trust is key in a project like this — Tuff's first disc for Sub Pop — and Harlow says Tuff's trust in him was "absolute," giving him carte blanche to act upon anything "unique" that Harlow heard "developing." Harlow acknowledges many reviewers compare this bubblegum-bending stomp-and-jangle style to various "glam-rock" types. But Harlow insists Tuff's got his own style —"the wiggle," as Harlow calls his unique guitar technique. "It's rather otherworldly; a bite and an edge." Warm, windy, woozy, Tuff's hazy voice often intertwines dazzlingly with his signature guitar-fuzz. Harlow: "This is a contemplative record. It's best to be venturing inward; Tuff does it well without wearing it out." —Jeff Milo 

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.