At the Launch of Teeth & Tongue’s new Album ‘Give up your Health’.
‘Lead singer Jess Cornelius, an urban soul vocalist in the genre of Patti Smith, has a smooth rich voice that rides through intriguing electronic arrangements.’ MP
‘Give Up on Your Health’ had its genesis in one rogue song. ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ that was originally recorded as an experimental track with a driving, arpeggiated synth sound, drawing on ’70s electronica. The label liked it so much they wanted a full album to go with it. So on the heels of a breakup, Cornelius retired to remote Iceland on a three-month Nes Artist Residency, which produced the heartbreaking ‘Small Towns’.
“We’ve got unavoidable contact. There’s always email and phone. I went as far away as I thought I could. You’re dying in the heat, I’m dying in the cold” – Small Towns
The rest of the album was written in Melbourne, where Cornelius brought the material to the band: guitarist Marc Regueiro-McKelvie, bassist Damian Sullivan and drummer James Harvey.
“I wanted to make an energetic dance-pop record, but with substance,the kind you’d put on when you’re driving down the highway, forgetting all the stressful stuff.” Cornelius
Alannah Woods our music reporter went to Remote Studios to review the album and interviewed the lead singer Jess Cornelius.
Your songs are quite different from each other, where do you get your inspiration? AW
“It’s usually stuff that’s going on ..a process of working out why I am feeling things”
Do you write the music? AW
“Sometimes; I’ll bring a song to the band, just the lyrics, maybe a guitar bar, the structure and the melody, then sometimes the guys will write their own arrangements or I’ll write parts for them .. it’s a mixture. They definitely write, we just work it out.”
Who inspires you musically? AW
“It changes so much … Lou Reed has always been a big one, songwriters like Nina Simone..”
Tell us about your albums? AW
“I’ve done 4 Albums, the first was just me but I got other people to play on it.For this one the four of us, not the keyboard player, have been together for a few years, we did the 3rd album together..it’s been a bit like adding people along the way”
So it was your original idea?
“Yeah I started out as a soloist.”
‘What I love is that she takes every part of her life and turns it into a song, it doesn’t necessarily have to be depressing, there’s a genuine depth. Jess has a great sound that could be compared to jazz, very soulful ..” Alannah Woods