Tully MacKay-Tisbert
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Tully MacKay-Tisbert

Band Folk Alternative

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May
06
Tully MacKay-Tisbert @ 14 Below

Santa Monica, California, USA

Santa Monica, California, USA

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By Jana Pochop

The Precipice is full of warm acoustic tones that allow the listener to sink into the dark tone of the MacKay-Tisbert's vocals easily. Self-produced in Hilo, Hawaii in 2007, MacKay-Tisbert ponders his way through what amounts to the story of his life on this album, or at least he gives off that personal "been here done this" vibe through his writing. The lyrics and vocals are intense, and the music washes it over with a contrasting calm on many of the tracks.

Sometimes MacKay-Tisbert takes on a rough Vedder-like almost-scream with his words, and since this album almost is entirely acoustic, it makes for an interesting dichotomy of emotion. “Wake Up” contains some tasty tapping technique on guitar, with a repetitive hook that all together would fit in well on Top 40 radio. The song is about finding a place and a home with someone and being content with waking up next to her ... with a surprise twist at the end that leaves the listener wondering what the rest of the story involves.

His voice takes on a Dave Matthews timbre and coupled with the rhythmic finger-style guitar, it makes for a hypnotic combination on “Hungry Ghosts." It’s a short tune at only a little over two minutes, but it fits the flow and vibe of the record. The listener can tell that MacKay-Tisbert was going for a soundscape feel with his album composition as a whole, and it turns into one long story as songs flow into each other.

“Salty Piece” offers some bite and bitterness in contrast to the generally mellow mood of the rest of the album. Tisbert’s vocals would be at home with Nickelback or even Collective Soul here. It leads into a gorgeously performed “Morning Memory,” an examination of those flashes from the past that creep up and the ache of missing a loved one. Tisbert sings, “Like my memories now it’s just a ghost.” We've all had those flashes of happier times and wished they would stick around; this song connects well on that basic level.

The title track stands out as the center point of the album. It seems to encompass a greater life view for MacKay-Tisbert. “I wasn’t perfect but I lived my best to my death. I loved sweetly.” It beings in some Asian-inspired tones and subtleties in the instrumentals, and builds in intensity through Tisbert’s vocals and well-chosen repeated lines.

Tully MacKay-Tisbert impressively wrote, recorded, and produced this record and it fits in well in the acoustic genre of songwriters searching for their place in the world. Contemplative and moody, MacKay-Tisbert asks questions and gives the listener the opportunity to find the answers.
- Indie-Music.com


Discography

The Precipice (2007)

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