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Tenci Announce New Album “A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing” out 4th November on Keeled Scales & Share Lead Single “Two Cups”

August 25, 2022
Photo Credit: Henry Hanky

Tenci Announce New Album
A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing

out 4th November on Keeled Scales

& Share Lead Single “Two Cups”

Chicago-based band Tenci announce A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing, their new album out November 4th on Keeled Scales, plus a North American tour. Following My Heart Is An Open Field, the acclaimed debut record that introduced bandleader Jess Shoman’s sonic explorations to the world,  A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing sees Shoman steering Tenci’s inventive music further and wilder, spilling over 12 fable-like songs. Lead single “Two Cups” continues Tenci’s interplay between folk and rock, and is presented alongside a gorgeous and playful video directed by John TerEick.

The bass steals the limelight initially as the bass kicks off proceedings and starts to build the immersive atmosphere, creating the complex low-end and sculpting of the structure. This advances into more detail with the light cymbal hits and drum shuffles fusing with the fierce lead guitar rhythm. The textures and tonality captured in “Two Cups” proudly exudes such expansive influence and the movement of the entire release will hook you, submerging the listener into the center and the heart of this stunning creation.

Already fixated on the journey of this release, when the vocal harmonies emerge and join the soundscape with this dominant confidence, the listener’s attention adapts to the affectionate lyrical tale. The dynamic vocal notes on offer from the first verse throughout, the array of notes being hit capture your full attention delivering such intimate insight within the raw lyrics.

As the vocal harmonies lead into the powerful union of all musicians, uniting and playing off one another, this is when the instrumentation simply dazzles. A real sense of elevation can be found in the core musicianship, there’s this warmth that laces the entire vision, and that warmth strengthens the soul of the track. When the arrangement heads to the cathartic finale, the repeated lyrics, and sweet harmonies that accompany the last words provide such an emotional and touching influence.

Tenci has traveled through a spout that leads to a restorative lake, finding a new place of compositional and lyrical complexity on A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing. Their first album dealt with letting go of painful life experiences and grief, resulting in feelings of emptiness. As Shoman entered their older and wiser years and gained distance and perspective on that grief, Tenci’s new collection of songs carry a contrasting feeling, a celebration of self-rejuvenation. A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing explores a collection of well-like vessels – cups, puddles, fists – which hold tightly on to love and newfound joy. Each song forms a spell to “fill my heart back up,” Shoman says, “by reframing complex feelings by turning my head sideways and seeing them in a different way.”  

From the close-knit Chicago scene, Shoman is joined by Curtis Oren on saxophone and guitar, Izzy Reidy (Izzy True) on bass, and Joseph Farago (Joey Nebulous) on drums. The years following My Heart is an Open Field saw the band playing shows together all over the country before regrouping in Chicago to record A Swollen River with engineer Abby Black (the album was also mixed by Melina Duterte, better known as Jay Som). Together, their playful interplay of loose drums and bass, huffing sax, and vocal waterfalls leave us warmer than before.

Pre-order A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing HERE

A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing Tracklist
1. Shapeshifter
2. Vanishing Coin
3. Be
4. Great Big Elephant
5. Cold Dirty Water
6. The Ball Spins
7. Sharp Wheel
8. Out of Body
9. Sour Cherries
10. Swallow Me Whole, Blue
11. Two Cups
12. Memories

Tenci Tour Dates
Fri. Nov. 4 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
Mon. Nov. 7 – Minneapolis, MN 
Wed. Nov. 9 – Toronto, ON @ The Baby G
Thu. Nov. 10 – Montreal, QC @ Casa de Popolo
Fri. Nov. 11 – Boston, MA @ Lilypad
Sat. Nov. 12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
Mon. Nov. 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA
Tue. Nov. 15 – Washington, DC @ DC9
Thu. Nov. 17 – Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
Fri. Nov. 18 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
Sat. Nov. 19 – Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village


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