Six tracks with Tusks: What inspired her new album Gold; listen to it here

Emily Underhill is a London-based electronic songwriter and producer who goes by the alias Tusks, and on Friday she released her third album, Gold.

The record follows 2017’s Dissolve and 2019’s Avalanche, and the release of the album’s first single, “Adore”.

The album was created between Underhill’s home in London, and two trips to Devon on her lonesome. As it happened for many living in shared houses during the pandemic, the time away proved much needed, and the majority of the album’s writing was done away from home. Once back to London, Underhill recorded with producer Tom Andrews in studios Ten87 in Tottenham and SS2 Recording in Southend.

Also like many, the pandemic coincided with the end of a relationship, and so as Underhill explains, Gold is about “processing a breakup and then falling in love again. Being constantly surrounded by people in lockdown, then suddenly being completely alone and free. Being in the city vs being in nature. We wanted to echo these contrasts in the production of the music so constantly moved between lo-fi and hi-fi production – sampling our own drum beats, recording them through compressed tin can mics and processing through loads of analogue gear and a 404 then switching to cleaner, larger sounding kits achieved by recording with mics in back rooms and the ceiling to give the impression of space. There was a huge analogue influence on the production and mix too by using loads of analogue synths and modular, putting a lot of the stems through tape and getting to be really creative with using delay throws and feedback on the 501 Space Echo. It was such a fun process and allowed Tom and I to delve into doing exactly what we love.”

Underhill shared more about six of the album’s ten tracks.


“(It’s) like the orchestra tuning up”, she says. “The demo sounded like this folk song sung over a synth drone, which we then used as a skeleton for the track and built it up with so many layers of textures and synths. That’s kinda what the song’s about for me – the journey of the synths and playing with as much texture and sound as possible; we did stuff like include samples from the NASA website of audio recordings of the Mars Rover. It’s very exploratory, I think it’s about discovery, and about trying to figure out what’s going on in your head.”


“Adore is about falling in love with someone at the start of a relationship when you’re asking yourself if it’s a good idea, if you should fall for that person or whether you should keep yourself guarded.”

“Artificial Flame”

Artificial Flame is about the point I’d also realised I was no longer in love with my partner at the time. It’s about coming to that realisation and processing it. I didn’t really speak to anyone for days, and the storm came over. Weirdly, that ended up inspiring the chorus hook because I couldn’t light a fire without using a load of firelighters, which then made this massive green flame. I was kinda staring at it, then the phrase Artificial Flame popped into my head and seemed to sum up everything I was feeling.”

“The Way”

“I’d been out in the storm for a couple of hours, in these mental 45 mile an hour winds listening to Porridge Radio, I came home and instantly sketched out this whole song on bass guitar. It was another one where it just kinda came out in one go from somewhere within me, like it had been building up over time. It’s addressed to anxiety. It’s about realising that whatever is going to happen, is going to happen anyway – that’s just the way it is. I find that very calming.”


“(It’s about) how you feel when you decide to end a relationship and realise what you’re about to lose – that person who you’ve shared so much with and been so close to for so long is just going to become a stranger. I found it so hard to come to terms with that fact.”


“It was written in response to seeing how the Tories acted and realising that if you have a certain amount of money and status, nothing else seems to matter – you can get away with anything. I felt like we were watching in real time how they just didn’t seem to care if people died or if any of this horrific stuff happened, so long as they weren’t going to get in trouble for it or their friends got rich. Somehow, they just seem to be immune to any kind of punishment and let off the hook. It’s more joyous at the end because that’s supposed to be about their downfall. I feel like I was hoping that would come by the time this came out…”

The full track listing is here:

1. Wake
2. Adore
3. Artificial Flame
4. Tainted Plates
5. The Way
6. Read The Room
7. Strangers
8. Gold
9. Body Ache
10. Cold Storm

Listen to the album now on Apple Music:

Or on Bandcamp:

Head HERE for all other platforms, including Spotify.

Gold is out now through via One Little Independent.

Tusks plays Rough Trade Bristol tonight. Head to her website for more details.

You can keep up to date with Tusks on her websiteFacebookInstagram and Twitter/X.