£19.99 – 1xLP
For Andy and Edwin White, the brothers behind Orlando’s Tonstartssbandht, a song is a living, breathing thing. Through constant touring, the Whites’ songs both take shape and change shape, becoming something a little different every night as they explore the possibilities inherent within them. With time, attention, and intention, these songs—long, languid, full of open musical questions and temporary answers—become distinct objects, and the process begins again. On Petunia, Tonstartssbandht’s 18th album and second for Mexican Summer, they bring us to the earliest moments of this process, showing off a barn full of hatchlings already decked with splendid plumage.
Using little more than a 12-string guitar and a drum kit, Andy and Edwin weave together the gentle headiness of Laurel Canyon and the sweaty pacing of Cologne; like a gyroscope, its constant motion produces the illusion of stillness—and that stillness gives it a sense of intimacy and introspection, something that’s further illuminated by the new emphasis placed on the brothers’ vocals. It allows the quiet wisdom of the lyrics—what Andy self-deprecatingly calls “generic broad platitudes that I still think resonate when I say them”—to slip in almost unnoticed, delivering their emotional truths while preparing a feather bed for you to collapse into. “All roads will lead to the heart of town, when you’ve been running too long,” he sings in the album’s opening moments. “Being at peace only slows you down, but you’ve been running so long now.”
If Petunia feels like a journey in the direction of peace, that, too, is a reflection of how it was made—the entire thing was written and recorded in Orlando in 2020, rather than pieced together in spurts over the years. This is an album built on level ground that shows what can happen when the artistic environment is stable, even while the world’s environment is anything but. Petunia is not Tonstartssbandht’s definitive statement on these songs, because how could it be? But it is a portrait of Andy and Edwin White at home in Florida, an artfully staged landscape rich in detail, its winding passages and airy environment waiting to be explored.
- Pass away
- Magic pig
- Hey bad
- What has happened
- All of my children