September 20, 2013

Tess Henley: Who Are You?


If you enjoy modern R&B or “popular” music, you do so at a price. So much of it can be seen as a bland prize in a candy machine. It’s as if people who read books about Berry Gordy ended up enjoying Regis Philbin’s act on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire shtick a little too much and now we’re stuck with absolute shit as a result. “Aspiring” vocalist competitions judged by “established” professionals in various rehashed formats for your viewing displeasure.

“Hey Joe, what do you know!? With a voice like that, you’re going to be a STARRRRRRR!”   (Imagine that whoever is saying this is wearing a candy-striped suit with a white top hat and black cane to serve Mr. Monopoly-esque accessories.)

So where does Tess Henley fit into all of this? She doesn’t. Whether she likes that or not really depends on what she’s trying to accomplish as an artist. I can’t say that I’m well-versed in the backgrounds of her Instagram god peers contemporaries but I’m willing to guess that their musical backgrounds are different when compared to Henley’s. Tess began learning the Suzuki Method for piano at age three. She has also won a few songwriting and independent music awards over the last few years. More recently, Henley was featured as the MySpace Artist of the Day. Yes, not only is MySpace still a thing, you can visit the site without your entire computer crashing. Wow, the miracles that can happen when your programming team doesn’t sniff glue on their lunch-breaks.

This video, I dig it. It gives me a vibe similar to Alicia Keys when she first burst onto the mainstream scene more than ten years ago (wow, has it been that long!?!). If you like this song, you might want to go pick up her album High Heels and Sneakers. Could definitely be the title of a sociology dissertation on the dating habits of women in their twenties. I’ve seen many of the tunes performed live at her album release show back in July and I must say, it reminds me of a fun, summertime east coast BBQ.



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