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Tess Parks

Canadian psych-pop singer/songwriter Tess Parks made a bold entrance as one of Alan McGee's early signings to his 359 Music label in the early 2010s. Her smoky voice and tuneful, lo-fi sound seemed like a strong fit for the label's aesthetic and her 2013 debut, Blood Hot, earned her some international acclaim. Although her solo follow-up was slow to come, Parks soon found an even wider audience through her musical partnership with Brian Jonestown Massacre's Anton Newcombe, with whom she made two acclaimed duo records in the latter half of the decade. In 2022, nine years after releasing her debut, Parks returned with her sophomore LP, And Those Who Were Seen Dancing, on the Fuzz Club label. A native of Toronto, Parks had a strong interest in both music and visual art from a young age. When she was 17, she left Canada for the U.K., moving to London to attend art school for photography. She soon began writing songs and attracting notice as a solo act, but having abandoned her art school ambitions, she was forced to return to Toronto when her visa ran out. Back in her hometown, Parks assembled a backing band called the Good People and in early 2013 self-released the EP Work All Day/Up All Night. During her time in London, Parks had struck up an acquaintance with Alan McGee, the legendary Creation Records founder, who had helped guide the careers of two of Parks' influences, the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. When McGee heard Parks' new music, he signed her to his newly launched label, 359 Music. Parks' first full-length album, Blood Hot, was released by 359 in November 2013. A mix of lo-fi psych rock cool and mesmerizing, torchy vocals made the album a critical, if not a commercial success. Rather than immediately recording a solo follow-up, Parks instead began a collaboration with American psych veteran Anton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre. It proved to be a complementary musical pairing and the duo offered up the dreamy, lo-fi pop outing I Declare Nothing in 2015. Their 2018 follow-up was a similarly experimental set titled Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe. Amid these collaborations and years of touring both solo and with Newcombe, Parks hadn't abandoned her solo career. She had been writing songs for a second record for years and by 2019 was recording it in fits and starts between London, Los Angeles, and Toronto. After an accident left her unable to play guitar, she became disillusioned for a time and turned to painting to meet her creative needs. Finally, in 2022, Parks announced a new record deal with Fuzz Club and delivered her long-awaited second LP, And Those Who Were Seen Dancing, in May of that year.
© Mark Deming & Timothy Monger /TiVo
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Discography

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