KT Tunstall speaks to Fife Free Press’ Fiona Pringle about how good it feels to come home to Fife

KT Tunstall
KT Tunstall

The familiarity that comes with returning home after a long departure – of pounding the streets you knew as a child – is a feeling international musician and Fifer KT Tunstall plans to embrace when she returns to play the Alhambra on October 28.

Squeezing dates into a bursting tour schedule is no easy task but finally KT has managed to get back to the county she grew up in.

“It’s so hard to organise a gig in Fife!” KT told the Press. “It’s always Edinburgh or Glasgow but I am 100 percent looking forward to it.”

The singer who rose to fame in 2004 with Black Horse and a Cherry Tree and now lives in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, returns to the UK to promote her new album KIN.

And although she is a self-claimed “sun girl” the thought of returning to the slighter colder climes of her childhood is a moment to be treasured.

“I hope I get the chance to nip back to St Andrews, I hear it’s looking really great.

“It is so nice as an adult when you know a place like the back of your hand.

“You know where the bends in the road are and alleyways and shortcuts. There’s something really great about the familiarity of that.”

KT has been searching for a place of happiness after a tumultuous and emotional two years and the tempo of her new album KIN, implies she has found it.

After the death of her father, St Andrews University lecturer David Tunstall, and the break-up of her marriage to drummer Luke Bullen in 2013, KT felt lost.

“Life felt topsy-turvy and I realised that I had to take steps to move forward and listen to my heart.”

KT cleared out everything she owned, moved to LA and started again.

She enrolled in the Sundance Institute’s Film Composers Lab with no plans to make another album. “

Then I started waking up at 3am with strong choruses in my head,” she said.

And driving through the valleys of her new home she wrote KIN an album she says has allowed herself to become the artist that she wants to be, and the artist she was at the start of her career.

And she puts much of that down to her surroundings.

“Venice Beach has been my sanctuary,” admitted KT.

“What it has done for me is allow me to recover. It had been a really intense hardworking 10 years and I was finding I wasn’t relaxing when I had down time.

“London is such a fast paced city and it’s important to be able to switch off and have that time.

“I am a firm believer that music comes from a place of the subconscious and you have to give that time to come to the surface.”

KIN a vibrant, beat-heavy, feel-good pop album is in direct contrast to KT’s last album Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon.

“My last record was beautiful but it was an emotional tour and I realised that performing solo was quite draining on my energy.

“An important thing for me when I am performing live is breaking a sweat and having a very physical experience, in front of reciprocal energy – a moving and dancing audience.

“The Alhambra is a really fantastic venue – it reminds me of Shepherds Bush Empire in London which has a really beautiful, traditional theatre feel.

“It’s very up close and personal which I think is the perfect venue, and the Alhambra has all that.”