35mm Photo Diary & Playlist


introduction by tom johnson

words and photographs by TUSKS

Last week at Iceland Airwaves festival, we watched Emily Underhill, the voice and vision behind Tusks, performed the rather somewhat surprising task of turning a hotel lobby in to something special and spellbinding; delivering songs from last month’s brilliant Dissolve LP and lifting everyone in attendance out of the corporate surroundings and off to somewhere else entirely.

And it wasn’t luck: the Dissolve LP is set in a variety of different places across the world, with each of its ten tracks informed by the city or landscape it was written in.

Celebrating the transportable aspect of her work, Underhill has curated a new 35mm photo diary to sit as a companion piece to the record, and further enhanced it by adding a song to sit alongside each photograph, culminating in a beautiful playlist in its own right. You can check out the whole piece below, and find the accompanying set of songs as a accompanying playlist right here:


Niagara Falls, Canada – May 2016

Bon Iver – “Perth”

My guitarist and I went to Canada a few days early when we played Canadian Music week last year and travelled down to Niagara Falls. I was listening to Bon Iver by Bon Iver on the coach and Perth reminds me of this picture – it’s such a good traveling album.

Battle Great Woods, UK – January 2017

Flying Lotus – “All In”

This is an amazing wood near where I grew up. We went and took photos when it was really frosty one morning and the light coming through the trees was insane – this was actually a bit of a fluke on my film camera, I cant believe how well it came out.

Ben Tre, Vietnam – December 2016

James Blake & Bon Iver – “I Need A Forest Fire”

This was such an epic moment where we travelled from Ben Tre to Tra Vinh in South Vietnam on the roof of a local cargo ship. It cost about £5 and lasted about 4 hours down the Mekong Delta. I think this song is such an amazing one to listen to when you’re traveling in new places – it has such an uplifting and curious vibe to it but it’s still really chilled and beautiful.

Mua Cave, Ninh Binh, Vietnam – December 2016

Ben Howard – “I Forget Where We Were”

Climbing up Mua Cave was one of the best moments of my life – you see loads of Ninh Binh which has these huge limestone cliffs and you can see for ages. This song hits me so hard every time I listen to it. I just want to travel forever. I try not to listen to it too much incase that feeling from it wears off.

Ninh Binh – Vietnam – 2016

Burial – “Come Down To Us”

I’d love to create something like “Come Down To Us” – it feels like such a journey of a song – a bit like Shura’s Space Tapes too. It’s just so emotional and beautiful and I don’t know how but sometimes it makes you feel like you’re not alone even when you are? It’s another track I try not to listen to too much because it’s so special to me. This photo was taken when I was traveling on my own around Northern Vietnam and I listened to it a few times. It’s so dark and intense but there’s something weirdly uplifting and otherworldly about it.

Toronto, Canada – May 2016

Foals – “London Thunder”

I’d been obsessed with Foals’ album ‘What Went Down’ for a while but “London Thunder” really hit me when I listened to it at night on the plane on the way back from Canada to London. The lyrics mirrored everything that was going on in my life at that time and the song stuck with me so I ended up covering it on the album.

Halong Bay, Vietnam – December 2016

Bonobo – “First Fires”

Bonobo must be on everyone’s traveling playlists? The key change in this song gets me every time. This was another fluke on my film camera of Halong Bay in North Vietnam – if you ignore all the tourists it’s an amazing place.

Devon , UK – April 2017

Daughter – “Landfill”

I became obsessed with this song and album when I was traveling around New Zealand and Australia in 2013. Everything about it is so raw and beautiful – it’s really intense to listen to when you’re traveling solo. I remember listening to it walking along these cliffs earlier this year and everything felt and looked 100 x more real than normal – it was really strange. I love finding parts of the UK which look this beautiful and saturated in colour.

Peak District, UK – March 2016

Explosions In The Sky – “So Long Lonesome”

We were so lucky when we went to the Peak District – about three foot of snow had fallen the night before and everywhere looked so beautiful. It was like being in Austria or somewhere. I think this song for me is the most epic and cinematic song I’ve ever heard. It’s so good to listen to when you’re exploring places.

Peak District, UK – March 2016

The War On Drugs – “Red Eyes”

This song instantly puts me in a good mood, I feel like there’s nothing much I can say about it, you just need to listen to it. This was such an amazing red sunset over the snow in the peak district – the song totally sums up that moment for me.


TUSKS debut album ‘Dissolve’ is out now, via One Little Indian Records

Order it here




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