Tuskha is the impressive new solo project of Phil Moore of Bowerbirds, “The Program” being its debut single/video. It reminds us of Beck’s sophisticated, electronic pop and Dirty Projectors at their best. Suffice to say it’s bursting with creativity and a sweet indie edge. The video shows teenagers having fun at a party, focusing on a guy and a girl who hit it off and go upstairs to… Well, it’s not what you think. It’s all rather innocent and is sure to remind you of the best times you had as a teen yourself. As the song and video come to an end, both leave you wanting more, a true sign of something special. We’re in love with it and we think you’ll be, too.
The video was directed by Elise Tyler, who had this to say about it: “The first time I listened to Tuskha’s music I pressed play, not knowing what to expect, and was almost immediately overcome by the world Phil had created with this record. I found myself dreaming up the world in which Tuskha comes from. Each beat pushing the narrative forward, my mind went from post-consumer American landscapes and the mundane beauty of a suburban skyline, to the tension of becoming an adult in our strange times, if we even become adults at all anymore. “The Program” is a portrait of an American boy who is on the edge of becoming a man. He is ready in his spirit but he just isn’t there yet. In the meantime, he is thirsty for experiences that could make him grow. I wanted the video to be uncomfortably sexy and intimate, while totally innocent. I think we achieved that.”
From the press release:
It was a standard dandelion, with northwest light and northeast shadows. The Carolina russet spectacular. The hours spent adjusting the memories of the last few hours. Freedom from junk mail. A free spirit with otherworldy debt. You weren’t in a realm that tendered too much bandwidth. I think of you semi-autonomous with guitar squeals echoing through the sugar maples. You have a home now. There is a child. How we got here is to circumvent the obelisk of uncertainty. I’ve been looking out at the same landscape for years. For me the sublime was a pool of reason steaming with lust. When I think of the current American landscape I’m not sure why I envision the light of a vanity mirror reaching across the room to a bed of solipsists. I’ve been trying for years to say something right about the circumstance where you work to construct an edifice and find yourself unable to part with the scaffolding. I don’t know. Maybe you know.
There are literally millions of stones to choose from so now which do you throw into the river. I’m not reporting on Zen. I’m not a moonchild smoking by a national fountain. When you say, “I’m the shape, and you’re the shadow,” I picture the future as something you see, in a foggy field, a dark structure you walk towards but never arrive. Like the foregone sanctity of finding ourselves on the other side of creation, generating forbidden arts in a wooded space, a space that is now challenged. Writing background music for ads portraying missing identities; you embody a question mark dripping with blood, but in a good way.
We met serving prepared foods. This is a fairly rank superstition, but when you slept with your dog on my floor one night in July I thought that our problems were refreshing. When I came home from work the next afternoon, in a thin monument-shaped spot of sun, was a gathering of plump ticks on the rug. Thanks. I smoked Haze and marveled at their obsidian bodies, they were together wondering what to do next. If this is life, call it life. From the most west to the most east. The struggle has been against the covetousness of commercial interests and that has best been answered with a word; that is Tuskha.
– Eric Amling, Kings County, 2015