Tuff Love

What do average Americans think of when asked about their knowledge of other cultures? Sure, a good bunch knows a solid chunk of knowledge about a handful of different cultures – most likely ones dealing with their own family heritage. More than just the stereotypes we’ve learned about growing up, at least. But for the majority, that’s all that’s known, because that’s mostly all that’s taught.

But what comes to mind when we think of a place like Scotland? Bagpipes and kilts? Haggis (whatever that is…) and strawberry blonde hair? I’ll tell you what doesn’t come to mind right away: sleepy indie rock bands.

Julie Eisenstein and Suse Bear (and sometimes drummer Iain Stewart) hail from Glasgow, Scotland, and, together, are Tuff Love: a guitar-driven indie rock duo. Due out tomorrow, January 29th, is their debut full length album, Resort (Lost Map Records).

Fifteen tracks long, the LP consists of the duo’s three previous EP releases, altogether forming an album with a very linear evolution in maturity.

In the beginning, there’s Junk, which offers short songs as quick, little, garage-y punches and an introduction to the two’s hypnotizing harmonies.

The second of the three quintuplets is Dross, Junk’s follow up. This time, the songs show a few changes in pace, as well as some nice lead guitar riffs which shine in the crescendoing (totally just made that word up) track, ‘Slammer.’

Completing this coordinated compilation trilogy is Dregs, which truly shows how much these two have matured throughout this journey. The recent single, ‘Crocodile,’ (with or without the Madula Oblongata remains to be seen) boasts a charmingly tasteful keyboard solo that was recorded on that old, tiny Casio keyboard that our parents bought us all back in the 90s. I don’t know about y’all, but I still have mine…

Keep a look out for Tuff Love on their upcoming UK/EU tour dates, a few of which will be with Prettiot. And don’t forget to check out Resort, which has plenty of comforting jams to keep you going until the sun decides to shine itself on the northern hemisphere again. Erm… springtime… because right now it’s winter…? You get the point.

By Kacy Raby

I am musician from Southern Maryland. I play guitar and sing in my band, Valleys In Autumn. I adore music and film and believe that the key to longevity is a consistent diet of nachos and black cherry soda. One day I hope to be captain of the starship, Enterprise.