"Two years ago, I was so impressed with the second CD of Mark Tulk’s “OF MEMORY AND THE DARK NIGHT” that the album ended up in third place on my 2014 annual list. I looked eagerly forward to what more this amazing singer-songwriter would have in store for us. With “EMBERS”, Tulk convinces me again with his amazing melodies, beautiful lyrics and elegant vocals. Born in Australia, but residing for years now in the US, Tulk had just completed his part of this new album with bassist and guitarist Joshua Stamper in Philadelphia, when he got involved in May last year in one of the worst US train accidents in the last few decades. After months of recovery from multiple fractures and a collapsed lung, Tulk could only finally finish the album this year. Due to the advanced stage of the album, only one short sentence on the CD "Train derailments by Amtrak," and the song "Heal Us As We Go” refer to his involvement in the disaster. It is noticeable that “EMBERS” (after “CENTRAL STATE”, the Gothic-americana / folk debut of Tulk, and the singer/ songwriter-like piano pop “OF MEMORY AND THE DARK NIGHT”), is again a big stride forward to a more accessible and inviting psychedelic piano pop sound, somewhere between the Beatles and the Eels, both in sound and quality. It is almost incomprehensible that Mark Tulk is still so unknown, but “EMBERS” could change this. Tulk’s music is again slightly easier to comprehend without compromising its uniqueness. Guest appearances by Jim White and Levon Henry, Joe’s son, add interesting names to the mix that will intrigue real music connoisseurs. And rightly so, “EMBERS” is a brilliant, almost flawless piano pop album."
Eric van Domburg Scipio 9/10 Heaven Magazine - July/August 2016
"Listening to Embers has reminded me of the sheer joy of discovering something great. I feel like a child becoming acquainted with a new toy that I already know will be a long-time favourite. To listen to Embers is to embark on an alluring journey covering a stunningly beautiful sonic landscape. Hoping the journey will never end, it is like entering into a land of deeply peaceful dreams flowing effortlessly from one scene to another. Expertly written and produced, Embers exhibits a depth and maturity within that is rarely found. The hypnotic opening track Universal Code slides into the aptly named wonderland of Dream, featuring some glorious saxophony. Track after track seamlessly moves from one to another…Heal Us As We Go, Woodstock NY, and Whose Hands provides a delightful sequence and masterfully moves into the darker turbulence of Watching Waiting and Empty Globe ... From start to finish, this is a great piece of art."
Sight Magazine, July 2016.
"[Of Memory And The Dark Night] is a really beautiful album!"
Paul Gough, The Inside Sleeve, ABC Radio National (Australia)
"...sublime psychedelic singer/songwriter pop/rock" ... "Tulk's production never overwhelms the listener, an impressive and gripping sound that effortlessly carries an equally adventurous, wonderful and emotional musical journey."
Heaven Magazine, Netherlands
"Of Memory And The Dark Night is an album that will grow on every listen as you uncover the layers of gorgeous musical complexity."
John Carver, 106.7 PBS FM, Melbourne, Australia
"...It is a strange phenomenon when you can forget where you are and fall into the music. The lyrics, mixture of sounds, the voice, the choice of instruments, all of them working together to pull you in. [Rain] captivates, intrigues, captures the mind. This song is nothing short of amazing. The music is composed masterfully. The whole song is brought together in a way most only hope to achieve. [It] is beautiful perfection..."
Middle Class White Noise
"I enjoyed [Central State] ... nice sound... good music. I'd have this as a permanent resident on my mp3 player. Good job! What's great about it is you're not trying to sound like anyone else... 99% of people are, and It's nice to hear some music that's Mark Tulk rather than a clone of whomever just because it sells."
Sean Magee, Mastering Engineer, Abbey Road, UK
(Beatles Remastered 2010, John Lennon Remastered 2010 etc)
"An engaging, updated revisiting of dreamy 70's British transcendental rock. Look out Radiohead!"
Jim White, Musician/Artist. Athens, GA.
"...Central State really shows [his] experience... varied, complex, subtle and satisfying. The album opens with Open Sky, which is my personal favorite... everything is relatively sparse and extremely well placed. There’s a great bit of subtle complexity here. Shadow Light is another stand out. From the beginning, the piano sounds are incredibly and perfectly reverberated. The layers build an almost ambient atmosphere before the song really kicks in. And when it does kick in, it’s refreshingly immediate. Multiple vocal tracks punch in altogether and make this one of the stronger songs on the album. He’s certainly got a unique sound going, and his experience shows on every song."
"Mark Tulk makes music that is richly textured, and he communicates his passions with hushed intensity. The textures vary enough to make his album Central State a richly varied listening experience, one that only gets better with repeated listens."
Oliver di Place
"There’s an obvious talent being wielded on this album,.. The songs progress and digress as if enshrouded in mist, a veiled sound that is built up over the first half of the album, until we reach Rain - and it’s doubly rewarding to actually listen to, if you let it soak into you, rather than wash over. [The] first five tracks are an EP in length, and that would be that, twenty minutes of very good, dark, freak folk. However, Mark Tulk shows he has a more diverse talent than just trying to give us the creeps (in the nicest possible way)... Inventive sounds, blooming towards chamber pop... For those with open minds, who don’t live alone in gloomy old houses..."
"Mark Tulk’s Central State... [is a] ride through a gothic musical landscape that has as much beauty and clarity (Speak No More) as it does artsy weirdness (Ghosts and the title track).
Tulk, who plays every instrument on the album except cello (handled by his wife Niki) and bass (Joshua Stamper), sings with a sort of calm tension that never turns abrasive but also doesn’t fully smooth out.
More specifically, Tulk was inspired by Central State Hospital, an insane asylum in Milledgeville -- and the photo of the graves was taken in its cemetery. As such, the mostly piano-driven music maintains a ghostly, haunted feel. Even in its melodic moments, otherworldly elements abound, as in the bleeding drone textures of Rain."
Flagpole Magazine, Athens, GA.
"Had the privilege of spending some time with your record this week... I think you've made a fine record with well crafted songs, the production is great, the more ambient first half is tremendous, mix is great, love the mid-60's Dylan-esque tunes on side b, Fellowship Cult Blues in particular feels straight off Bringing it all Back Home or HWY 61. Also, gorgeous ballads at the end! You cover a lot of stylistic ground on this record while retaining a sense of continuity, well done! I thoroughly enjoyed it! Congrats on a well-crafted, well-executed album!!!"
Justin Reynolds, Musician, Leaving Araby
"a TOTAL RAD SANDWICH!"
Marcel Borrack, Musician, Melbourne Australia
"Mark Tulk, vocally, has a crazy resemblance to Mark Everett (The Eels), in my opinion. This Mark, hails out of Athens, GA where he is busy creating beautiful piano based works that have wonderful experimental qualities. Some songs are very dark, some very light.. but almost all, beautiful pieces of art to be heard and enjoyed.
'Rain', from his album, Central State, is probably my favorite from this album. It’s calming in sound, but so intriguing when you listen to the layers that give it much more depth than you expect. ...The more I listen, the more I love. Also, check out Speak No More."
Earplugs Not Included
"Central State is a dark and... somber musical journey carried on the back of haunting piano progressions, trippy soundscapes and eclectic range of... instrumentation. Tulk's lyrical command makes these well-composed tracks easy... to listen to and remember. The opening track, Open Sky is... a good representation of what is to come, but by no means a display of the many talents Tulk exudes on Central State. ... the album's title track, reminds me of something Elliot Smith would have written if he had been classically trained on piano. It is dark, brooding and finishes strong with some great harmony between the piano and vocals."
"A former resident of Australia and a relative newcomer to the Athens [GA] scene, Mark Tulk brings us a unique mix of soft, unstructured melodies and gothic, piano-laden tunes. His sound differs markedly from that of many of our current local bands, but this serves to make his music stand out from the crowd."
Echoreyn of Athens
"[Central State] sounds like moody Americana folk with classical leanings - it doesn't necessarily require the knowledge that Tulk is a foreigner in a strange land to relate to the songs at all. Though maybe it helps... Whether you like the spectral title track, or the distorted guitar/violin/piano combo on 'Rain', there is a lot to hear and take in - rich rewards to be gleaned also."
"Central State is more a montage of thoughts and ideas rather than a collection of songs. Inputting a nice spectral sound in [the] song ‘Open Sky’ makes it a listen which wanders around various tones and interesting musical landscape. Not quite experimental, but not quite your standard straight up and down song as well."
"Had the chance to listen to [Central State] and I really do love it!
The album reminds me of the concept albums of the early '70s (best through headphones for full effect!). Its originality makes it stand out ... a future classic!"
East of Midnight,
CJMQ 88.9 FM, Quebec, Canada
"The six tracks on At The End Of The Day occupy a space in the hinterland between the urban and the big outdoors, between the (false) promise of bright lights and big city life and the desolate beauty of the desert."
"Mark Tulk is one of Australia’s most promising musical talents." OzMusicScene.com
"At The End of the Day is a mature and sophisticated recording."
John Carver, PBS FM, Melbourne, Australia
"Apart from being the stand-out track on the EP, 'Low', is a brilliant counterpoint to moody, atmospheric 'She', with its haunting lyrics; 'She is staring out her window, dark eyes drinking in the sky, moonlight washes across her face' working well with strings and Tulk’s piano. Even in those two tracks, it’s apparent the sound of the EP is hard to pin down. At The End of The Day is so far from the normal sound of rock & roll that it’s almost visual music, not something to see but something to imagine."
(more reviews coming soon!)