Tess Posner - One Thousand Petals - Stereo Stickman

Tess Posner One Thousand Petals

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Tess Posner’s sound is refreshingly unique right now. Bringing together a series of somewhat tribal and trip hop inspired beats with some notably creative songwriting and melodic structuring, she offers up an EP that entrances and impresses from start to finish.

Love Song to Myself is admittedly a strong starting point and kicks things off brilliantly. The beat is incredibly interesting, effective in a classically alternative manner – perfectly rhythmic yet spacious and slightly vintage feeling. Then you get the song’s concept, the lyrics, and indeed Posner’s presentation of these. There’s an inherent connection between the voice and the words expressed by it, which seems like a simple touch but it’s something often lacking in modern pop – it’s also something that can’t really effectively be faked. This song has a perfectly captivating aura, an alternative edge but also a simple and memorable hook that quickly sinks in.

After the brightness of the opener, things take a turn for the more mellow and perhaps more conceptually vast with Feels Like Freedom. The further you get into this project, the more you realise there is indeed a certain depth to the writing style that reaches far beyond the usual surface-level stuff you tend to stumble upon. This song is beautifully entrancing in a slightly Portishead or Zero 7-like manner. Fragments of ideas reach out and connect in whatever fashion the listener might need in this moment – it’s the sort of song that’s there for you in any number of situations.

Take it Back turns up the acoustic energy and takes you along for a rhythmic and rather anthemic journey. The space and the structure make for a thoughtful, softly striking experience. Again, the writing is fascinating, and Posner’s use of melody reinforces this as her voice meanders through various highs and lows – always with a certain level of delicacy and passion intertwined. Her voice seems to get more interesting as the EP progresses – there are several threads of character throughout her work, and the better you get to know these, the more recognisable this voice becomes; as is the calling card of an artist hopefully in it for the long run.

A welcomed dash of EDM-ready ambiance emerges with the song Ready – you can hear the potential for remix almost immediately, but the track works perfectly well in itself for this familiar energy and the sense of rising anticipation. At this later stage within the project, the track plays the role of the upbeat dance piece, as well as something with a little more get-up-and-go. Still those threads remain, but the eclecticism style-wise is an enjoyable touch.

The final track on this release is an acoustic version of the opener Love Song to Myself. As this was perhaps a personal favourite from the project, it shines a whole new light on it when the instrumentation is stripped away – when all that remains is the song itself and the artist’s performance of it. The lyrics stand a little taller in this setting, the melody also weaves its way into your mind a little more noticeably – maybe the energy of the complete version overtakes the poignancy of the actual writing in some way. In either case, it’s a joy to hear both versions, and this acoustic take adds something particularly valuable to the collection. You can hear the live sound, there’s nothing to hide behind – no effects or beats – it just is what it is, and it works just as well if not better in some respects. A live show from Tess Posner would most probably be something quite special. One Thousand Petals is a pleasure to make your way through.

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Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Musician & writer with an MA in Songwriting.