Flip­ping the blues with time­less sounds

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - WHAT’S ON -

KARL Wil­liams knew he could never ven­ture into psy­che­delic ter­ri­tory on his own. The lo­cal acous­tic-blues trou­ba­dour played a solo gig at a party when he was ap­proached sep­a­rately by three guys who wanted to get to­gether and make some mu­sic. The four mu­si­cians be­gan jam­ming and Tsun was born. The quar­tet no­ticed a ‘‘quick re­sponse’’ from mu­sic fans af­ter re­leas­ing their de­but sin­gle, Mar­malade, ear­lier this year. ‘‘It’s amaz­ing to see how rapid and pos­i­tive the reaction has been,’’ Wil­liams says. ‘‘I think it’s par­tially be­cause our mu­sic is re­ally re­lat­able. It does have that blues tone but on the flip side, it has a dancea­bil­ity and that up­lift­ing feel of 1960s rock and psychedel­ica.’’ Wil­liams says Tsun are not a re­vival band. ‘‘It can be a bit danger­ous to be too back­ward-look­ing, al­though there is an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of that go­ing on,’’ he says. ‘‘Blues is the fun­da­men­tal part and it’s time­less. It’s not as­so­ci­ated with a par­tic­u­lar time.’’ Wil­liams says Tsun are in­flu­enced by ‘‘the whole mu­si­cal his­tory to date’’ – with a cer­tain em­pha­sis on the ’60s and ’70s psy­che­delic pe­riod. ‘‘There’s also ele­ments of mod­ern things in there. It’s eclec­tic,’’ he says. ‘‘We try to make the record­ing sound uniden­ti­fi­able. It could be past or present. That way it’s mys­te­ri­ous.’’ Lyri­cally, Wil­liams looks to univer­sal top­ics and things he sees as ‘‘fun­da­men­tal to the state of be­ing hu­man’’. ‘‘ Mar­malade has a spir­i­tual feel. It’s about death and go­ing to the next world,’’ he says. ‘‘There’s an­other song and it dis­cusses that from the view­point of my brother’s girl­friend’s grandpa. They moved him out to a nurs­ing home and threw away all his stuff. It’s the sad­dest thing that at the end of your life your fam­ily could do that.’’ Wil­liams says the creative process is col­lab­o­ra­tive. ‘‘The mu­sic part comes nat­u­rally once there is a lit­tle seed,’’ he says. ‘‘Ev­ery­one brings in ideas and lit­tle riffs and we jam on those. I can take that away and I have books full of po­etry and things, but nor­mally I write some­thing new.’’ Wil­liams says Tsun’s live shows fea­ture pro­jec­tions lay­ered with a kalei­do­scopic ef­fect and ‘‘bub­bles and bal­loons fly­ing around’’.

– ROSE SADLEIR

Tsun play Ko­mune Re­sort, in Coolan­gatta, on Sun­day.

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