With heart-wrenching lyricism, and an angelic voice, Tessa Bird has released her first single, The Heavens Did Protest. Incredibly powerful, this track tells the story of heartbreak, and coming to terms with a relationship ending. The lyrics are deeply visual, poetic, and a major part of the song’s identity. Metaphorical, and with a tone that induces emotion, this release is a beautiful, yet sorrowful showcase of Tessa Bird’s outstanding abilities.
Over 8 years in the making The Heavens Did Protest tells of a fragile time in Bird’s life when she split up with her partner and Tessa tells Hi Fi Way more.
Awesome single, how has the build up been to the new single The Heavens Did Protest?
Thank you! It’s been extensive! Haha, since starting this project in Feb 2020 life has thrown some set-backs (I was living in Sydney but came home to Adelaide in March and got ‘stuck here’. So I’ve been waiting for this moment for ages and feel like a kid on Christmas Eve, except I’m the one handing things out!
What is the story behind the single?
I wrote it the night after a really important relationship ended in 2013. I was lying on my floor crying when a torrential downpour hit and I found it incredibly soothing. It felt like the skies were feeling my heart, grieving with me. I wrote the very poetic, dramatic and old-English style title The Heavens Did Protest and from there all the lyrics came out that night.
Has it been quite the journey from being in your band Sitara to going solo?
Oh yeah, I started ‘Tessa Bird’ because these songs we were always planning to release as Sitara were some of my best work, but Erin and I having such different paths/schedules/focus just didn’t get to it. So that’s why a lot of them are older songs but still my favourites. It’s been terrifying carrying the weight of this alone for this first release but it’s also more special and personal that way. I’ll get her to sing with me at the live show eventually so we will always continue performing, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to get this music out there. I have extremely strong creative opinions so I think part of me enjoys the full permission to take the reigns! But I’ll get her to sing with me at the live show eventually so we will always continue performing together somehow, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to get this music out there.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
Cinematic, evocative, dramatic, tension-filled, powerful, raw and tender.
Does the music come before the lyrics?
No, the lyrics come first every time. I write songs to tell stories and usually take a week or two to fully settle into a melody.
Who would you say is the musical influence/ inspiration for yourself?
I’ve been influence by a lot of diverse artists. I grew up listening to Eric Clapton, BB King and a lot of great blues artists so that will always be a huge part of my musical expression. But I discovered a few years ago that all the artists I reference as inspiration are all UK Pop/Rnb – so Amy Winehouse, Emeli Sande, Florence and The Machine, Adele, London Grammar, Freya Ridings etc etc. Strong women who have really meaty music. That said, Alicia Keys is definitely in that list and in the last few years I’ve been obsessed with H.E.R.
Are you building toward an album release?
This single and three other tracks will be on an EP which I am keen to release ASAP. It’s 98% ready! But yes, after that I’m working on new songs now that will eventually become an album for sure.
Are you looking forward to being able to tour more broadly around the country this year?
Yes! Performing live is just the absolute best feeling. That said, I have a lot of preparation to do in order to be ready for the kind of theatrical stage show I intend on putting on, so right now I’m focusing on the online release, but eventually getting back to performing is the end goal.
What’s next for Tessa Bird?
By the end of 2021, release the EP with the other tracks – two of which have film clips I’m insanely chuffed with and can’t wait to share. I feel like the four songs on this EP are like my children where I love them all equally and deciding which one gets release preference has been torture! I have a plan to showcase them all equally with the film clips etc. Then yes, get a live show up, and then possibly start recording some demos for the next album! But that may need to wait till next year… either way now the ball is rolling I intend on rolling with it!
Interview By Rob Lyon