Tess Cunningham is a multi-disciplinary artist known for writing avant pop songs with personal lyrics presented with her own intricate visual art and choreography. When not releasing music under her own name, Tess has a band side project Tess in Venice where she prefers to play electric guitar to showcase her folk/grunge songs.
The youngest of six with five older brothers Tess grew up in an artistic and book loving household, immersed in rock music, in Melbourne, Australia and took classical piano lessons from age eight.
Spending her childhood performing and touring professionally as a ballet dancer and leaving home while still a teenager, Tess came upon songwriting as a means of expressing her feelings outside of the rigid confines of the ballet world. Teaching herself to record the songs in her bedroom or hotel rooms on her travels she eventually found herself in her new chosen hometown of London. Tess began to play her songs live sometimes alone with her keyboard, at other times with her first band (Tess and the D’Urbervilles). This resulted in the self release ‘Let’s Compare Scars’ an evocative collection of piano and lyric driven songs.
“It is hard to believe that her EP is a debut, as she has a bedrock maturity that usually comes from developing many studio productions……Tess Cunningham is irrefutably original with a voice that could make an angel high-five her.” – penny black music
Keen to step out from behind the keys Tess taught herself to play guitar and started a new guitar based project ‘Tess in Venice’ releasing a raw, off-kilter guitar EP Flood Heart Fly and garnering radio play (Frank Skinner/Absolute Radio) for the lead single, Once Upon A Time.
“hooks galore and a kind of hippie / garden rock underbelly….with Tess in Venice’s artful inspirational aesthetic” – American Pancake
Tess returned to the piano for her next release, a full album of stripped down filmic instrumental pieces ‘Songs Without Words’.
Tess continued to release instrumentals throughout 2020 as well as the single ‘Learn To Fly’ as Tess in Venice. Now working on new material, after taking time to gather lyrical ideas during the pandemic, Tess’s new music is coming soon…..