Artist Spotlight - Tennyson (17, Canada)
No matter how jazzy you think you are, this kid is jazzier. His tracks effortlessly employ some of the tightest and most innovative sound design, sampling, and arrangement that I have ever been privileged enough to hear. It’s playful, deliciously intricate, and just so fucking fresh. Here are my favourite tracks from the boy-wonder, who likes to forgo the capital ‘t,’ tennyson. Also, listen out for his cat; he samples it constantly.
Daughter - Smother (tennyson Remix) (2:49)
Immediately, a jazzed-up melody dances between octaves and quantisations. The percussion and drums are on-point from the moment they enter. Likewise, the vocals from Elena Tonra of Daughter are perfectly reverberated to a magical level. When it comes to the next instalment of tennyon’s incredible ear for melody, a page-turn is sampled, and paper has certainly never sounded so good. This track is a gem.
tennyson - For You (2:33)
Fitting with his natural style, For You is exceptional. Note the experimentation in the underlying pads just after the gloomy and melancholic vocals swim in. A couple of meows later, and we’re graced with another unbelievably jazzy melody. Up to the last second, this track showcases tennyson’s genius, and sounds pretty great, too.
tennyson - No Answer (2:49)
Of course he can slice vocals like the professionals. Of course. This track has the remarkable quality of being exceedingly intricate yet remaining spaced apart enough so that the individual sounds can all be appreciated undamped. Oh, and there’s another beautiful jazzy melody, if you hadn’t already discovered the pattern.
tennyson - Violet Alturas (2:56)
This track is the midpoint between tennyson’s self-titled album, and his newer work. Want to revel in the pitch-bent goodness of an expressive and crisp musical landscape? This is your track. Want a lesson in human anatomy? Oddly enough, this is still your track.
tennyson - You’re Cute (3:42)
He’s really teasing us with this one. A lot of the song feels like a buildup, due to the large presence of high-frequency noise and hi-hats. Yet, I’ve saved the best for last. After a rolling and ever-increasing intro, peppered with some melodic elements - and what sounds to be a garden sprinkler - the real tennyson, that you should now know and love, comes in to play. The proceeding jazz-fest employs swung percussion, some pops and clicks, and a playfully expressive melody. It’s glorious, like most of his work.
You owe it to yourself to listen to this music. One day, when tennyson rules the world with an iron fist and a silver casio keyboard, you’re going to need to appreciate him, and there’s no harm in starting a little early.
Find the underrated tennyson on Soundcloud and Facebook.
Purchase his album or EP on Bandcamp.