by / February 24th, 2015 /

Music Is My Radar: Tucan

It should come as no surprise that Tucan’s five track State playlist covers many bases in a short space of time. Starting life as a guitar duo, the band expanded to achieve notoriety through acoustic covers of the likes of Daft Punk. Second album Towers, produced by God Is An Astronaut’s Torsten Kinsella, sees them add further layers of sound through strings and brass. Here are a few clues to what inspires them, provided by founder member Donal Gunne…

Arthur Russell – ‘This Is How We Walk On The Moon’

I think everyone has the same feeling when they come across Arthur Russell for the first time, that of having struck musical gold. I first became aware of him a few years ago, and couldn’t believe that this musician had existed. There is a great, but slightly tragic, documentary on him called Wild Combination. A must see music doc.

The Gloaming – ‘Sailor’s Bonnet’

These guys are taking the Irish music tradition to some really incredible new places. They are all special individual talents, but together they transcend to some other plane altogether, and breath fresh life into our musical heritage. At the centre is Martin Hayes’ wondrously sensitive and expressive fiddle playing.

Penguin Cafe Orchestra – ‘Music For A Found Harmonium’

This track, made famous in that Napoleon Dynamite scene, had a massive effect on myself and Pearse back when Tucan was in its infancy. It has an urgency and momentum, coupled with some great asymmetrical melody playing, that we both grabbed on to with both hands and put into the core of our sound.

Grizzly Bear – ‘While We Wait For The Others’

These guys have some of the most interesting arrangements going. They always seem to take a few odd turns along their songwriting path, as well as having a really interesting approach to backing vocals. Their last album didn’t quite reach the heights of previous ones, but they’re still one of my go to bands.

Ernest Ranglin – ‘Surfin’

Ernest is the man, plain and simple. An ex-Skatalite, he has played with all sorts of musical heroes over the years. His guitar style is so effortless that it almost sounds lazy, but if you peer beneath the bonnet, you’ll find a master in total control. This track is great but also check out ‘Undecided’ and ‘Fade away’.

Towers is released on March 27th. Tucan play 5th On Teeling, Sligo (March 7th), Black Box, Belfast (March 21st) and Button Factory, Dublin (April 4th)