In the realm of Brisbane's music scene, Tessa Fleur, the ethereal singer/songwriter, has recently released her debut EP, Trial, on November 3rd. This milestone follows the earlier emotional resonances of her poignant singles Death by Black Hole and Avalon. The latter finds Tessa Fleur navigating the intricate landscapes of post-breakup catharsis, painting a poignant picture of love involuntarily lost. Avalon unfolds like a time-lapse, capturing the essence of blooming flowers transitioning from fresh buds to withered petals—a bittersweet reflection on the transient nature of cherished moments. As Fleur grapples with this universal truth, the song seeks solace in themes of grace, acceptance, and the unwavering support of friends, accompanied by the comforting resonance of Maton's acoustic guitars.
Expanding the narrative, Tessa Fleur's recently released EP, Trial, introduces audiences to the dreamy allure of its eponymous track. Trial creates a sonic landscape reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac's emotive legacy, with Fleur's soft vocals guiding listeners through a dreamlike soundscape. Complementing the auditory journey is the music video, a visual feast that unfolds with cinematic surrealism reminiscent of a David Lynch-ian masterpiece. With 'Avalon,' 'Death by Black Hole,' and now the dreamy echoes of 'Trial,' Tessa Fleur continues to carve her niche in the ethereal pop landscape, offering a captivating fusion of introspective lyricism and dreamy soundscapes.
We recently had the chance to talk to the emerging artist about her musical journey so far.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got started as an artist?
I spent my early years in France, and coincidentally, my middle name is 'Fleur.' Growing up, I observed my mother performing in her band at local festivals, where music and the arts were an integral part of the community's culture. These were my earliest memories. I was a theatre enthusiast during my high school years and even performed big theatre numbers.
I also sang jazz in the QLD Young Conservatorium of Jazz Music for two years. However, it wasn't until my final year of high school that a teacher suggested recording me in one of the studios. I sang a cover, but it marked the first time I used my natural voice, which felt incredibly satisfying. I created a live music clip, and seeing the audio and visuals come together was a fascinating experience.
In my early twenties, I felt the urge to start writing and releasing my own music. Inspired by local musicians in the Brisbane scene, I began attending industry events and open mic nights. I also pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music at QUT, supported by the Tara Simmons Scholarship, named after the talented late artist Tara Simmons. My university experience was pivotal in shaping my career as a multidisciplinary artist, helping me connect with band members, forge friendships with music lecturers, and grow my network in the industry.
The first thing that strikes me is the attention you pay to visuals. Your music videos are like arthouse movies. Have you grown up as a movie buff?
Thank you! I had a deep love for movies since childhood, and the magic of the cinema always enchanted me. I used to watch movies repeatedly. Surprisingly, I've never made a connection between this passion for movies with my desire to create my own music videos. I just really appreciate the visual dimension of music and how it expands the artistic expression. When I'm drawn to a song, I will very quickly, go and seek its music video because it allows me to fully immerse myself in both the music and the artist's vision.
You have a very distinct style and it shows that self expression is very important for you outside music too. Do you think that your sense of fashion somehow compliments your music?
I strongly believe that fashion and music are intertwined, much like the process of creating a music video, which adds another layer to artistic expression. I draw a lot of inspiration from the creative minds in my community and often borrow ideas from this vibrant artistic circle. The sustainability aspect of my fashion choices aligns with my slow approach to making music.
“If I got to choose my death, I’d go down a blackhole” you sing in Death by Black Hole which is a very compelling opening line. How did this concept come to you?
I've always had a fascination with space and the eerie allure of black holes, so the idea of choosing to go down a black hole as a form of "death" felt compelling to me. It was a way of expressing my love for space and a sense of adventure, a willingness to be a donor for space exploration if I had the choice and knew the time of my departure from this Earth.
What would be a career highlight for you? Any bucket list items that you’d love to check out off your list?
The most significant highlights for me have come from collaborating on projects with incredibly talented creatives, both from my own community and across various artistic disciplines, including designers, producers, and directors. I've had the pleasure of meeting numerous passionate creative individuals who believed in my music and generously contributed their time and expertise. One notable highlight of this was working with Rosaleen, a talented clothing designer from Meanjin/Brisbane, on projects like the 'Trial' and 'Avalon' videos, as well as various other creative endeavours.
What have been the biggest challenges you've faced as an emerging artist?
Balancing high expectations in a career where 'no' often outweighs 'yes' and charting a sustainable path while contending with a constant influx of creative ideas can be challenging. However, being an independent artist necessitates acquiring a wide range of new skills, which is incredibly enriching.
What is the ultimate motivating force to make music for you?
Escapism, community and self-expression.