Tennyson has always been an evolving project. The brother-sister duo from Edmonton, Canada blend genres, mix live and electronic sounds and now, they’re taking their music to the Dirtybird Campout this weekend October 6 – 8 in Bradley, California. When We Dip spoke to Luke and Tess via email about the origins of the Tennyson project, their latest music and how their fluid style is changing.
At its origins, Tennyson was the solo project of Luke Pretty. Tess, his younger sister by two years, remembers: “Luke and I were already in [another] band together, but we played mostly covers. When Luke’s music started growing in popularity we made the switch from playing covers to original music.” Now their live stage set up showcases Tess on drums – a unique kit with a variety of tom-toms and snares tuned to specific pitches.
Luke – who has been producing and making jazz and electronic music since the age of 12 – describes their musical style as variable. “The music changes as my taste in music changes.” he explains. “Having grown up a bit probably affects my taste.” He’s not ruling out the possibility of outside influence either. “I allow the audience to slightly affect Tennyson” he admits, later adding “[New York-based producer/composer] Photay joined us from a couple long drives between cities. The stuff he’s played in the car has widened my vision a lot.”
Tennyson’s most recent release, “Uh Oh!” on OWSLA features a wide array of styles and musical descriptions, a sampler of directions that Tennyson explores. “Cry Bird’s the odd one out [on that album.] For that song we met with a children’s choir to help us sing the chorus. [For the rest of the album] expect more colliding minerals and wet beehives filled with earthworms.”
Tennyson have been touring a lot this summer – mostly in North America, but it doesn’t seem like there’s much downtime scheduled for after the Dirtybird Campout. “We’re going back to Europe in October” Tess says. There’s no breaks on the horizon for Luke. “Definitely going to keep up the pace,” he promises. “Maybe double it.”
Tennyson play from 9p – 10pm on the Bass Lodge Stage this Saturday, October 7th at the Dirtybird Campout. Tickets and more info available at DirtybirdCampout.com .