words by tom johnson
The penultimate track on Tenci’s beautiful new album, “No Wings” holds a sadness that is deliberately placed beneath the surface. Presented in dappled sunlight but always threatening shade, the song was written, by Jess Shoman, about a deeply traumatic experience but fronted by a playfulness that would allow her to play the song live free of such a burden. “It’s become one of my favorite songs on the album to play, because it feels like every time I do I get to chip away at a heavy weight on my chest,” Shoman says. “That feeling of release has helped me get closer to myself.”
The album it’s lifted from, My Heart Is An Open Field, which was released earlier this summer via the ever incredible Keeled Scales label, carries similar sentiments across its nine tracks. through a series of gentle, but often spontaneous songs, it’s a collection that always feels like it’s picking away at something, trying to get to the deep warm heart of the matter while always remaining conscious of what such an exploration could result in.
It’s also mesmerising, musically. Jagged little pieces of instrumentation, mostly softened and tinged with the glow cast by Shoman’s remarkable voice, which becomes the central character you follow with painstaking attention. No Wings feels indicative of this chase, the juxtaposition of tone and content akin to mirroring a new dance routine in real-time; always one step out of time but following on regardless.
Though the album has been out for a little while, No Wings gets a brand new video today, with a suitably captivating film by the fine folks over at Coool – and we’re very pleased to share it with you here today.
“We never really planned to shoot a music video for No Wings, it was just a spontaneous idea,” Shoman says of the video’s released. “While we were shooting the video for Forgot My Horse’s Name, we thought we’d make use of the rest of golden hour and film a second video since we had the time. I’m so happy we did, because being able to dance and sing in a field, while the sun set behind me, felt like I set myself free.”
Released, also, to coincide with a second pressing of the record on Seaglass vinyl, you can watch it below right now, and be sure to check out the full album over on Bandcamp; one of our very favourite releases of the year so far.
our new physical publication, a music journal (issue 7), is available to preorder now
find out more here