Part folk, part post-rock, on paper Sligo’s Túcan shouldn’t really work. Originally forming as a guitar duo in 2009, the band has grown and their music’s complexity hassve expanded with it (now a six to eight piece act). However if the idea of Sigur Ros covering folk instrumentals sounds ghastly, Túcans sound is unique and engaging enough to not only sustain the listener’s interest, but make them excited to see where this band will go next.
Initially Túcan come across as surprisingly thin and soft for a 6 to 8 piece band, sounding at times more like screensaver music than anything particularly compelling or cinematic (Prelude and Riot Now leave very little impression). As the album progresses though the intensity rises and more layers are added, with Pieces being the first track to really make it’s mark. Most songs begin with a simple, repetitive idea or rhythm, build and build to something great, and before you know it, Túcan jump to a new idea from which to rebuild. The collision between epic post-rock and breezy folk makes the listener want to climb a mountain, but also relax on the porch for a few days.
This magpie-like approach ensures that although the album is never boring, Towers at times feels more like a collection of songs than an album with a coherent tone or atmosphere. That being said, it’s a collection of generally great songs. Stand-outs of the album include the sharp As It Was, the almost soulful Pieces and the blissful Trials. Songs such as these are so evocative and beautiful, Túcan will have no problem finding work as film composers.
Túcan clearly have great potential and ambition. It will no doubt be a treat to see how they present these songs live. On record though a greater emphasis on creating a consistent atmosphere and tone on their next album will turn them from a good band into a great one.