Tennyson's mellow electronica flows on Different Water | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Music » Concert Preview

Tennyson's mellow electronica flows on Different Water



Five years ago, Canadian brother-sister duo Tennyson were often seen as a prodigy act. Keyboardist and producer Luke Pretty was 17 when the group began to tour and record; drummer Tess Pretty was only 15. Now that they're 22 and 20, respectively, their performance is less of a novelty, but they retain the same charm. The Prettys started playing acoustic jazz gigs when they were barely in their teens, and these days they make polished electronica fusion with a smoothness you'd expect from people who've been working together for most of their lives. Tennyson’s latest self-released EP, this year’s Different Water, is more of what the band's fans have come to expect: memorable melodies and busy, layered beats, with touches of their jazz background sliding in and out of their compositions. The title track features a bubbling, mellow soundscape, with a Coltrane-inspired sax solo squonking in for a cameo. "Wintersleep" features the duo's rarely heard singing, with Luke on lead vocals and Tess on mixed-down harmonies, and together their voices provide a nicely wavering contrast to the music's sheen. Luke also sings on the danceably upbeat "Face the Night,” which is so hooky that it just about demands indie-pop radio play. Tennyson are no longer a teenage band, and they sound ready to settle in for the long haul.   v

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →