A mixture of military drums, whirling fairground organ, incongruous violin and explicit emotional metaphor, ‘The Dog’s Home’ manages to take some amazingly disparate elements and mould them into a coherent whole. With a loud, confident sound which nonetheless allows every instrument the space to make its presence felt, it’s an aching howl of a song which presents a cynical yet sad view of less-than-wise relationships: “Don’t look if you believe in love”. Frontwoman Alexandra’s phenomenal voice swoops and soars through the narrative of the song with an operatic grandeur and power which, underscoring every emotional rise and fall with a dramatic rawness, manages to make a strength of displaying a naked vulnerability.
Also, where else will you find a song boasting “a Greek chorus of dead dogs”? Nowhere, that’s where.
The extensive use of that fairground organ on this single is really rather appropriate, fitting perfectly with The Black Tulips' aura of exhibitionist glamour and red velvet curtains in sordid cabaret settings. All grand, theatrical gestures and complete creative certainty, TBT take the elements most bands would confine to the subtext and splash them in vivid technicolour across the front page. Well, who needs tiptoeing musical subtlety when you have the confidence of knowing that you’ve got it right? Striking, affecting, surreal and utterly original, The Black Tulips have created a sound that holds the listener utterly rapt from start to finish. Utterly, utterly glorious.