King Tuff Returns to His Roots on New Album 'Smalltown Stardust'

Co-produced with SASAMI, the LP is "about love and nature and youth"

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Oct 26, 2022

King Tuff has detailed his fifth studio album. The singer-songwriter born Kyle Thomas will share Smalltown Stardust on January 27 via Sub Pop.

Following 2018's The OtherSmalltown Stardust is heavily inspired by King Tuff's hometown of Brattleboro, VT; an album "about love and nature and youth" that serves as a love letter to the small town that shaped him.

"The truth is I never really wanted to leave my little town in Vermont. I knew it was something I had to do in order to actually pursue a career as a musician, but I loved my life there, and I cried and cried the day I left on a Greyhound bus for LA in 2011," Thomas reflects in a statement. "In some alternate dimension there's a version of me still living there, still hanging on the stoop, drawing pictures in the coffeeshop, walking the railroad tracks that run along the river ... but alas, in this here dimension, I'm nothing but a townie without a town!"

The communal aspect of Smalltown Stardust is found in contributions from SASAMI and Meg Duffy of Hand Habits, who share a home with Thomas in Los Angeles. It was there that they cut this year's Squeeze and 2021's Fun House, respectively, with Thomas serving as engineer and contributor to both efforts.

For Smalltown Stardust, SASAMI co-produced and co-wrote a majority of the record, and contributed vocals, arrangements, and instrumentation to all 11 songs. Thomas shares, "I tried to follow her vision a lot. It helps to open your world to collaborators. You always get something completely different than you would have expected."

The album's title track arrives today alongside the news, and you can hear it below. Thomas notes how it's "a song about keeping that little place and all its strange magic with me wherever I go. It's a portal that I can access when I need inspiration, or when the city feels too big and hot and I need to mentally escape into some dark woods. It's a place I found myself going to often in the last few years while I was writing this record, stuck in scorched and crispy ol' Los Angeles, so it felt fitting as an album title as well as the first song to release into the world."

King Tuff will take Smalltown Stardust on tour in early 2023, with Canadian shows set for Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. Tickets for all dates go on sale Friday, October 28 at 10 a.m. local time, and you can find the complete tour itinerary below.

Pre-order Smalltown Stardust.

Smalltown Stardust:

1. Love Letters to Plants
2. How I Love
3. A Meditation
4. Portrait of God
5. Smalltown Stardust
6. Pebbles in a Stream
7. Tell Me
8. Rock River
9. The Bandits of Blue Sky
10. Always Find Me
11. The Wheel

King Tuff 2023 Tour Dates:

03/01 San Diego, CA - Casbah
03/03 Los Angeles, CA -  Lodge Room
03/04 San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
03/06 Portland OR - Mississippi Studios
03/07 Vancouver, BC - Wise Hall
03/08 Seattle, WA - Neumos
03/10 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
03/11 Denver, CO -  Larimer Lounge
03/15 Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall Upstairs
03/17 Nashville, TN - The Basement East
03/18 Atlanta, GA - The Earl
03/19 Durham, NC - The Pinhook
03/21 Washington DC - DC9
03/22 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
03/23 Boston, MA - The Sinclair
03/24 Brooklyn, NY - Elsewhere Hall
03/25 Brattleboro, VT - The Stone Church
03/28 Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz PDB
03/29 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
03/31 Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle
04/01 Minneapolis, MN - The Turf Club
04/03 Kansas City, MO - The Record Bar
04/05 Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf
04/06 Phoenix, AZ - The Rebel Lounge
04/07 Pioneertown, CA - Pappy and Harriet's 

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