KT Tunstall is credited for contributing vocals to Annie Lennox's charity record Sing, she has also appeared with Dave Stewart at The Hospital Club in London as part of Michelle Obama's Walk A Mileinititiave.
Tunstall's idiosyncratic vocal gifts and distinctive guitar playing, along with a flair for imaginative songwriting, alive with gripping lyrical bite and rare emotional power.
"On the whole, I'm a positive, skippity-la-la person," Tunstall says of her album's richly textured intensity, "but I'm equally fascinated by the dark side of life and I always want to explore that. I think it's an album full of positivity but there's stuff underneath for sure."
From an early age, Tunstall showed an eager interest in music, first listening to her older brother's metal from outside his bedroom door, later developing her own diverse tastes. She trained in classical piano and flute, while her characteristic singing was inspired by jazz's most inventive vocal stylist. "I'm pretty certain that I learned how to sing because someone gave me an Ella Fitzgerald tape," she says. "She was my singing teacher."
Taking the name KT ("I needed to do something with my name to stick out of the crowd" she explains, "and as a big PJ Harvey fan, decided to follow her lead."), Tunstall soon became immersed in St. Andrews' burgeoning alternative folk scene, a grassroots musical movement which inspired such freewheeling songwriters and artists as the Beta Band, James Yorkston, and the Fence Collective. She performed frequently, while voraciously continuing her musical education by absorbing the work of artists such as James Brown, Lou Reed, Billie Holliday, Johnny Cash and Tom Waits.
In time, Tunstall traveled south to London where she began vigorously pursuing a career in music. She collaborated with an array of songwriters and producers, including Martin Terefe (Ron Sexsmith), Jimmy Hogarth (James Blunt, Boo Hewerdine), and Tommy D (Catatonia). With over a hundred songs in her notebook, she teamed up with legendary producer Steve Osborne - known for his studio collaborations with such diverse stars as U2, New Order, Suede, Doves, and many others - and set to work in bucolic Wiltshire recording her debut album.
Tunstall captured the UK's attention with a showstopping debut appearance on the BBC's Later with Jools Holland. Asked to step in as a last minute replacement for hip-hop superstar Nas, KT blew the roof off the studio with a stunning solo performance of "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," beguiling the nationwide audience with her compelling vocals and powerful acoustic guitar work, looped to create the force of a full backing band.
Released soon thereafter, "Eye to the Telescope" reaped unprecedented critical approbation from the notoriously hard-to-please UK press. "The kind of record you might expect from an established international artist," declared Scotland on Sunday, "not a girl composing her first musical calling card. It really is that good, the album Fiona Apple is still hoping to grow into, that Sheryl Crow got too distracted to make, and Lucinda Williams would be proud of." "Tunstall's voice has a "gorgeous tone and fluidity, but she eschews anything too showy," wrote the Daily Telegraph's Neil McCormick, adding that "Her songs are focused, dwelling on the minutiae of relationships with a sharp lyrical sensibility and a strong sense of melody."
KT followed the release of Eye to the Telescope with a year of nearly non-stop road work, with sold out headlining shows, festival appearances, and support stints alongside such artists as Joss Stone earning her critical applause as a astonishing and resourceful live performer, "Tunstall's got a megawatt charisma of her own," wrote the Guardian's Betty Clarke of KT's February headlining gig at London's ICA. "She may be new to the ranks of stardom, but she's not going to stay that way for long."
By Summer 2005, KT and Eye to the Telescope had become a full-fledged phenomenon. She scored a third consecutive UK top 10 single with "Suddenly I See" and saw her now 2x-platinum-certified debut included among the shortlist for the annual Nationwide Mercury Prize. In September, Tunstall made her