U.K. experimental indie collective Tunng formed around the songwriting partnership of Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders, who brought in various members to fill out their creative core. Often labeled either "future folk" or "folktronica" by critics who had a hard time placing the band's sound, the group intertwined acoustic instruments and a found-sound sampling esthetic into their style, releasing several singles before their 2005 debut LP, This Is...Tunng: Mother's Daughter and Other Songs. The band explored their digital approach to folk over the course of several albums, touring frequently and growing their fan base as their sound solidified. Following their 2007 album Good Arrows (released on the Thrill Jockey label), Genders stepped away from the band to dedicate more energy to family life, but he would return for 2018's Songs You Make at Night as well as contributing to the group's 2020 death-themed podcast The Dead Club and its accompanying album.
Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay began their musical partnership composing scores for softcore porn movies, and from those audacious beginnings they soon decided to form a band that would bring together Genders' gentle vocals with Lindsay's guitar playing and songwriting. To fill out their sound, the duo added more guitars as well as female vocals, turntables, programming, and other percussion. Tunng released a handful of singles in their native Britain before their full-length debut, This Is...Tunng: Mother's Daughter and Other Songs, came out in 2005 (the album was later re-released in the U.S. the following year on Ace Fu). In 2006, their follow-up, Comments of the Inner Chorus, hit shelves. By this time more of a collective than anything else, especially because initially Genders had opted out of performing live, the six-piece (Genders and Lindsay plus vocalists Becky Jacobs and Ashley Bates and multi-instrumentalists Martin Smith and Phil Winter) released Good Arrows the next year.
Time off and touring meant four years would pass before the group returned with 2010's And Then We Saw Land, their first album without co-founder Genders. With geographical differences and family life taking precedence, Tunng would reconvene in lead songwriter Mike Lindsay's newly adopted home of Reykjavík, Iceland, to start work on their next album. Taking the jam sessions from Iceland to Dorset, U.K., and spending two weeks recording, Tunng released their fifth album, Turbines, in mid-2013. Their next record, Songs You Make at Night, would see the return of Genders to the fold as well as the reunion of the band's original lineup. The album was pieced together from various remote sessions and was released in the summer of 2018. The following year, the band issued the rarities collection Magpie Bites and Other Cuts. The compilation gathered rare material from 2004 up until 2018, mostly tracks from out-of-print 7" singles and other non-album or previously unreleased tracks. An extremely limited version of the compilation had 18 tracks that spanned two discs, where the standard release had only 11.
In September 2020, the band launched an eight-part podcast series called The Dead Club. It included discussions centered around death and interviews with philosophers, writers, and other creative figures whose work touches on themes of death. The musical accompaniment for the podcast consisted of new Tunng material that also focused on issues of death and dying, and that material was collected for their seventh studio album, Tunng presents... DEAD CLUB. The record was released in November 2020 on the Full Time Hobby label. ~ Marisa Brown