Emily Peal – Tunneling (2011)

Emily Peal

Truth be told, I don’t feel entirely qualified to write about Emily Peal’s new record. I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. I’ve been listening to Tunneling for about a month now, and every time I do I get the spins. The attention to detail is staggering. This record is impossibly complex, yet maintains a remarkable accessibility (you know, except for the disorientation thing). I’m done thinking about it. I’m just going to enjoy it.

Emily Peal’s piano driven sound is equal parts musical theater, introspective singer-songwriter sensibility and Queen-style grandiose rock, complete with intricately layered backing vocals and bombastic guitars. Check out the menacing “Gentle When You’re Cruel”, the emotional “Privilege”, the delicate “Creator” and the disarming “Elephant In The Room” to get an idea of the musical range Tunneling covers. It’s vast.

I’ve got a soft spot for “Wise To You”. It’s a song that never fails to make me smile. This studio version has more elaborate instrumentation than the live version I posted a little while back, but maintains the latter’s undeniable charm.

Tunneling is quite the impressive album, whose whole is even greater than its numerous parts. Just don’t try to figure it all out. It will make your head spin.

Where to get it: