Review: Tuff Love – Resort

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Tuff Love evoke a shimmering indie sound that wouldn't be out of place in a high school film, with inventive track names and youthful themes.

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Resort is the amalgamation of three of Tuff Love’s exclusively releases EPs: Junk Dross, and Dregs. What it gives listeners is a full-on fifteen track LP that runs as a full album, and its youthful sound sounds like something fit for the Juno soundtrack.

The guitar-pop duo, hailing from Glasgow, is made up of Julie Eisenstein and Suse Bear. Resort works as a chronology of their work thus far, so is the perfect introduction to the duo.

‘Sweet Discontent’ brings us into the album with gentle guitar melodies and wistful vocals from Eisenstein. It’s a soft an delicate opening, but has the bounce and vigour to emanate a youthful glow. The album evokes a laid back aura, teamed with a kind of restlessness as the LP flits between its quieter, indie moments and those that dip there toe into more of a rock and grunge pool. These dips are found in the slick bass work that open ‘Poncho’ and ‘Slammer’, giving way also to heavier drum beats that take away from the soft, wistful charm of other tracks. ‘That’s Right’, hitting the midpoint of Resort, complies with this sound too, giving off the 90s aesthetic that has come to be so popular and recognisable.

The softness found at the opening of the album rears its head once again with ‘Sebastian’, with cooing vocals offset by racing drums but more downplayed bass work. It’s a song about a boy, giving way to the teenage aura that is being created by the duo. ‘Cum’, surprisingly, is one of the prettier tracks on the LP. It gentle opens with “come back to me”, provoking the double meaning of the word. The vocals are lower, and slower, as Eisenstein sings, “it could never be us”. There’s that sense of youthful nostalgia again, and it works. Closing the album with ‘Carbon’, the vocals are ethereal and the track carefully constructed, providing a lovely descent at Resort‘s conclusion.

It’s rare that on an album you can categorise the tracks into animal tracks: but here is a prime example. Resort features nods to ‘Flamingo’, ‘Penguin’, ‘Doberman’, ‘Crocodile’ and ‘Amphibian’ alike, adding a flair of continuity between the previously separate EPs. ‘Penguin’ appears to analogise human travelling – and sleepless nights – with the quest of the penguin, bringing with it carefully placed metaphors.

Resort is as much a coming-of-age for the chronology of Tuff Love as it appears to be through its themes and track names, providing a catalogue of shimmering indie with inflections of rock and pop. It wouldn’t be out of place as the soundtrack to a high school film as it gently makes its way through animals, cum, and boys.

Resort will be released on 29th January via Lost Map Records.

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Third year English student, Records Editor, list maker and lover of Kinder Buenos.

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