Luke and Tess Pretty of the indie electronic duo Tennyson are angels. With their cherub features and heavenly musical capabilities, they probably get that a lot.
Tennyson played an early show at Fortune Sound Club on Saturday February 18th as part of their current worldwide tour. The tour launched on Valentine’s Day, with Vancouver being their third stop, and their only Canadian one.
The talented young pair reigns from Edmonton, Alberta and are a part of Skrillex’s OWSLA label. They trained in music from a young age, with their father being a drummer himself. Their musical talents are far more advanced than their youthful looks may reveal. They’re known for creating a sound that is always whimsical and fun, yet with mature and sophisticated undertones.
Just after eight thirty on a Saturday night, Luke and Tess were ready to delight the crowd with the magical, crafty beats they are known for. Luke stood tucked behind a keyboard, laptop, and two midi controllers while his sister Tess sat behind a drum kit adorned with flowers. Hanging like a fixed curtain behind them were strips of vertical lights.
From the very beginning, their performance was absolute bliss. They filled the room with their sweet and serene sound, while the hanging strips behind them flashed rainbow colours. Airy synths, doorbells, iPhone keyboard clicks, car alarms, dial tones, and water droplets are only some of the vaporwave sounds heard during their set. Weaved into these postmodern electronic sounds were layers of soulful jazz, pop, and good old bass.
In response, the crowd smiled and swayed along to every melodic soundscape they released. The crowd was entranced by the fascinating duo, often yelling things like, “we love you!” and “you guys are beautiful creatures!”
The music dissolved any feelings of shyness the brother and sister may have held, grins sported on both of their faces for the next hour as they played their set. Luke would frequently go on solos, multitasking between his keyboard and drum pad, wrists crossing over one another and at one point, activating the next sound effect with just the tip of his nose. He hopped around on his feet, hair in his eyes, stealthily playing his drum pad with his fingertips, as his sister played steadily on the drums. As he sang boldly into the microphone, Tess echoed softly behind him.
They played a variety of tracks, like Like What?, 7:00AM, Fault Line, Too Long, and Beautiful World from their most recent EP Like What. They also played favourite singles like With You, You’re Cute, Slipperz, and Lay-by which featured some surprisingly heavy bass.
“Thanks a lot, this is a lot of fun. I’m kind of sick but now I feel a lot better,” Luke revealed meekly towards the end of their set. To the audience’s delight, they saved their cheerful track “Tomato Land” for their encore.
Tennyson’s performance at Fortune Sound Club that night was a happy dream to anyone who was lucky enough to witness it.