Tuka 'updates his software' with ambitious new album, Nothing In Common But Us

With a new album released on July 31, Blue Mountains native Tuka would normally find himself about to start a tour in support of the fresh material.

But COVID-19 has thrown 'normal' out the window.

"I was originally going to release the album in March [when COVID-19 delayed it] ... but I thought 'I can't keep sitting on this material, it will get old for me, you've got to to keep moving'. So I decided to release it now even though I might not get the opportunity to tour it anytime soon," said the 35-year-old, best known for being one-third of acclaimed Australian trio Thundamentals.

The ambitious yet reflective album, Nothing In Common But Us, might actually be the perfect tonic for people people stuck at home in lockdown.

"I feel the album might be a good soundtrack for a lot of people right now," said Tuka. "It's very mellow and lives in your headphones, more than big club speakers."

Tuka's third full length album sees the artist push his creative limits beyond his trademark rapping, embracing pop melodies, electronica and acoustic sounds.

"You've got to update your software every now and then... For me it was a really experimental record," he said.

The ambitious leap is borne out of respect for his audience, even if this also carries risk.

"I think I've got a core following that's up for the ride, but that's the risk I run with my solo career," he said. "I expect a lot of my audience but I respect my audience too. Definitely, there might be people jumping off this record; and there might be new people jumping on too. Only time will tell."

The first single from the album, Wish I Knew, a collaboration with The Presets' Julian Hamilton, perfectly illustrates this uncharted territory for the hip-hop star. Tuka admits he never imagined he would find himself working on "big dance song" but reaction since the single's debut on Triple J's Good Nights suggests he has nothing to worry about.

While he has experimented with genres and vocal techniques on Nothing In Common But Us, the album has a unifying concept - "the birth, life and death of a relationship".

"I'm trying to navigate how hard it is to experience loss and pain but ultimately how rewarding it as at the same time," said Tuka.

And while the spotlight is currently on his solo career, Tuka has encouraging news for Thundamentals' fans (and was even writing new material with DJ Morgs when the Gazette spoke him).

"At the moment we're free agents, we're not even on a record contract so we have more freedom than we've ever had, and we have more time than we've ever had," he said.

"Let's just say there's a lot [of new material] but I'm not sure what the sound it is yet. It's exciting. We're getting along and working really well together."

Although he is now based in Sydney, the former Medlow Bath resident (real name Brendan Tuckerman) had a message for his Blue Mountains fans.

"I want to send out all my thanks for all the love and support I've had over the decade for both Thundamentals and my solo career," he said.

"Katoomba High was a really important part of my development. The Blue Mountains is such an alternative and diverse place to grow up in a lot of ways. I miss the music community that was there when I grew up."

For more details visit Tuka's Facebook, YouTube channel or Instagram.