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KT Tunstall to return to her pop roots in upcoming Columbus visit

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KT Tunstall is set to play at A&R Music Bar to kick off her new tour. Credit: Courtesy of Tom Oxley

It’s been more than 10 years since singer-songwriter KT Tunstall released her hits “Black Horse & The Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See.” Now, in 2017, Tunstall has a new record out and is ready to grace stages across the country, starting in Columbus on Wednesday night.

Tunstall’s new album, “KIN,” was released worldwide in September. She said the album release came as quite a surprise, as she was planning to take some time away from making pop music.

“I was feeling really burnt out,” Tunstall told The Lantern. “The (writing) process felt rather repetitive.”

Tunstall’s last record, “Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon,” was a much more melancholy affair than her prior work, she said. The album covered heavy material ranging from the death of Tunstall’s father to the ending of her marriage to musician Luke Bullen. Touring for that album consisted of completely solo performances, with Tunstall rather stoic during shows.  

After the “Invisible Empire” era, Tunstall said she planned to take five to 10 years off from writing records, opting to pursue a career in musical scoring for film and television. She moved from the U.K. to Venice Beach, California, and while she did end up arranging score for the 2016 movie “Bad Moms,” Tunstall said her songwriting itch returned.

“It was almost kind of annoying,” Tunstall said, referring to how she started writing pop songs again despite trying not to. She said driving down Pacific Coast Highway while listening to artists such as Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac fueled the fire that would become her latest effort, “KIN.”

“KIN,” both in terms of music and lyrics, emanates pop with a purpose, Tunstall said. She said, with everything going on in the world right now, she wants people to know that you choose your own reality. This idea is probably best represented in her song “Love is an Ocean,” in which she sings, “Graduate the hate into splendor,” a line Tunstall said is about taking charge of one’s own life.

When Tunstall comes to Columbus’ A&R Music Bar on Wednesday, the audience can expect a full band supporting her new big pop tunes, as well as her classic prior material.

Joey Teale, promotions manager for PromoWest Live, said he believes that the fan nostalgia will be one of the leading drivers for ticket sales at this show.

“Maybe someone really wanted to see her but couldn’t because they were too young at the time or couldn’t afford a ticket,” Teal said.

In addition to her own material, Tunstall said she’s excited to play a few covers on this tour, and is asking her fans to get involved in the selection process.

For “KT’s Cover Challenge,” Tunstall will ask concertgoers to request covers via social media, and she will play the most popular songs at that night’s show.

Doors for the show are at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at A&R Music Bar at 391 Neil Ave. Support will come from musician Calvin Jones, and tickets for the event can be purchased for $30.85, including fees, via Ticketmaster.

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