*Originally published for The Generator's Tipping Point blog (17/10/12)
It’s a strange and somewhat lucky coincidence that Tessera Skies are playing their first gig in over four years at Oxjam Newcastle this Sunday. Their existentialist single, ‘Soliloquy of an Astronaut’, has undoubtedly been granted a place on their set-list, just a week after Felix Baumgartner leapt to earth from space. We all watched last Sunday, terribly nervous for Felix who was willing to sacrifice himself for science, no guarantee of falling to earth alive. “Green and blue look very strange from out here”, breathes Tessera Skies’ vocalist on ‘Soliloquy of an Astronaut’, “Look at me. I’m dying. I’m dying.” Thank god Felix made it.
Scientific references aside, Newcastle’s Tessera Skies have very recently sprung into action following the completion of their university studies. They’ve so far enjoyed airplay from Tom Robinson at BBC 6, the folks at Amazing Radio and Nick Roberts at BBC Newcastle, and that’s no mean feat.
It feels as if the three-piece have been waiting years for this moment, especially on ‘Soliloquy for an Astronaut’, a near-faultless piece of writing that is polished but also beautifully understated. Jazz-inspired drums trip over each other, ‘No Surprises’ electronics drip in the background and earnest strings grip at the root note. It’s wonderfully tranquil and perfectly embodies what one would imagine floating through space feels like, even if the lyrics carry a heavier metaphorical (than literal!) weight.
There are uncanny Guillemots intonations, as well as some Lanterns on the Lake musical stylings, but Tessera Skies impressively retain their own sound. A very promising, and culturally relevant, bunch.