“Cornelius handles heaviness with an enviable lightness, finding new resiliency in every rebound. She’s funny, self-effacing, and honest.” – Pitchfork
“[Distance] recalls contemporaries like Feist and Sharon Van Etten at its finest, blending synth-rock, breezy beach pop, and tender folk.” – Rolling Stone
“[Distance is] pretty extraordinary.” – NPR Music
New Zealand-raised, Los Angeles-based artist Jess Cornelius announces her sophomore album CARE/TAKING, out June 14th via her new label Tender Loving Empire Records, and a North American tour. In conjunction, she presents the album’s lead single/video, “People Move On.” Cornelius writes arresting songs that capture the disorientation and endless possibilities of being in flux. On CARE/TAKING, she sings of personal upheaval with striking lucidity and emotional nimbleness. Where 2020’s Distance found her untethered moving across continents and entering a solo career after a long stint fronting the Australian band Teeth & Tongue, this LP has the songwriter firmly established in her California home but no less at a crossroads. Over 10 intricate and immediate songs, she grapples with squaring global crises and insecurities with the transformations and responsibilities in her life. It’s searching indie rock that’s as biting as it is comforting.
Work on CARE/TAKING started patiently years ago with Cornelius sketching out ideas on her Yamaha Portasound keyboard. “There was a lot of change happening in my life,” she says. “I was coming out of a relationship with the father of my child. It was a turbulent time being from New Zealand, living in L.A., and realizing that this family unit wasn’t sustainable.” While that dissolution was a heartbreaking shift in her life, she was grateful for the stability she had: her support system, the home she felt settled in, and her craft. It’s with this perspective that the songs on the album possess a tangible grace even when they’re about loss.
On CARE/TAKING, the emotional stakes are higher. “The biggest shift for me that has happened over the last few years is that I had a kid,” says Cornelius. “What that did is it made me think about death more than I have in my entire life. A lot of the songs are about how much I have to lose now and what would that look like,” Though there’s an undercurrent of fear and a fear of loss on CARE/TAKING, it still feels hopeful and grounded. “I had access to more self-belief in my life,” says Cornelius. “With age, you get better at seeing what you actually have and be grateful for it. I still write about relationships and their complexities with this weird and dark layer but there’s more of a sense of joy now.”
Navigating these oppositional feelings proved to be creatively significant: she demoed songs at home and had the foundations of nearly 20 tracks sketched out. With these promising ideas, she enlisted producer and multi-instrumentalist Mikal Cronin—an L.A. indie rock mainstay known for his own solo music and his work with Ty Segall—to help winnow down the material. Cornelius and Cronin, along with drummer Steven Urgo, diligently recorded CARE/TAKING over sessions at Cronin’s home studio as well as Segall’s Harmonizer Studios. The lush arrangements throughout the LP, which feature glistening keys and saxophone, all thread the needle between being knotty and brooding to breezy and stunning. Her melodies careen into unexpected places but they’re all anchored with a keen sense of timelessness.
Propelled by the relentless forward motion of a defiantly-strummed electric guitar, “People Move On” does indeed move: always further towards its destination of exultant, off-kilter pop-rock. But rather than a straight guitar-rock song, Cornelius’ take on the genre is characteristically unpredictable — buoyed by frenetic piano stabs, layers of tightly dramatic vocal harmonies, alto saxophone, a sing-along-in-in-the-car chorus, and an unusual, ever-evolving song structure that freewheels into a lush acapella breakdown.
“Caretaking and caregiving mean the same thing but taking and giving are opposites,” says Cornelius. “I wanted to focus on the taking as much as the caring: What is the constant caretaking in my life and how have we failed in the caretaking of the earth and ourselves?”
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While the sonic tones and textures on the album evoke certain classic staples of Americana, soul and rock and roll, Cornelius’ lyrics anchor the songs to a deeply personal place. Described by Pitchfork as “funny, self-effacing, and honest” she sings of a miscarriage, a messy romantic affair, and the frustrations that come with having a partner. As a result, the songs showcase her gift for delivering a devastating line over the most soothing of sounds.
Jess Cornelius Announces New Album, Out 6/14 Via Tender Loving Empire Records, & North American Tour
Today, New Zealand-raised, Los Angeles-based artist Jess Cornelius announces her sophomore album CARE/TAKING, out June 14th via her new label Tender Loving Empire Records, and a North American tour. In conjunction, she presents the album’s lead single/video, “People Move On.” Cornelius writes arresting songs that capture the disorientation and endless possibilities of being in flux. On CARE/TAKING, she sings of personal upheaval with striking lucidity and emotional nimbleness.
Today, New Zealand-raised, Los Angeles-based artist Jess Cornelius announces her sophomore album CARE/TAKING, out June 14th via her new label Tender Loving Empire Records, and a North American tour.
The Line of Best Fit
‘Led by her acute lyricism and liberating honesty Jess Cornelius’s bleeding-heart beach rock lands plenty of punches in an emotional slog match.’
Jess Cornelius – Body Memory (Peach Fuzz Version) featured on NPR Music’s New Music Friday Playlist
‘Jess Cornelius is always changing into something else, something new. An artist in motion, she moved from her native New Zealand to Australia, before lettering soaking up West Coast elements in the United States. Her work as Teeth & Tongue earned widespread acclaim, growing from a solo project into a full band. Last year’s solo album saw Jess strip her sound right down, and it gains a full UK release on May 14th.’
The innovation isn’t over, however, with the songwriter deciding to reimagine her album cut ‘Body Memory’.
‘LA based Australian artist Jess Cornelius released Distance last year and she’s now shared an alternate version of that album’s “Body Memory.” “I’d started playing the song for myself in a totally different way – on echoey guitar instead of keys, with a dreamy, melancholic mood, and wanted to record it as a sort of ‘part two’,” says Jess.’
“Jess Cornelius has today announced details of the U.K. release of her debut album, Distance, which came out to much acclaim in the U.S. last summer.
Released on Friday May 14th 2021 on Loantaka Records, the U.K. edition is heralded by a digital single featuring an alternate version of the album track Body Memory and a cover version of the Eagles I Can’t Tell You Why.”
“The New Zealand-born singer-songwriter’s debut solo album, Distance, captures a lot of the uncertainty that comes with several big life changes: grappling with expectations, finding love, and following your dreams.”
“ On her solo debut, the L.A.-based singer and songwriter taps members of the War on Drugs and Warpaint for winning songs about finding delight in despair…”
“Quarantine has helped me creatively in this way that I totally didn’t expect. It forced me to make my own music videos, which I’d never done before. That’s been really rewarding…”
Jess Cornelius’ New Album DISTANCE Featured on NPR’s New Music Friday: The Top 10 Albums Out July 24
“Even though most of these songs don’t have simple or logical resolutions, their easygoing, soulful, sometimes soothing LA styled pop makes the often troubling concepts go down easy. It helps that Cornelius possesses a striking voice, somewhat similar to that of Kate Bush…”
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Under The Radar
Music For Lunch
In recent years, self-care culture has exploded beyond simple millennial infatuation; the term, which refers to the conscious integration of health and wellness practices into daily life, is equal parts lifestyle manifesto and multi-billion dollar industry. “No Difference,” the latest single from the New Zealand-born, Australia-raised singer Jess Cornelius, addresses the individual reckoning that occurs in the most intimate corner of the self-care sphere — the bathroom.
New Zealand-born, Australia-raised and a current Los Angeles resident, Jess Cornelius has settled down with a new track titled “No Difference.”
The former member of Melbourne’s Teeth & Tongue released her first solo EP in 2017 titled Nothing Is Lost, and is now making her return with today’s standalone new track.
Aussie singer-songwriter Jess Cornelius has released a gorgeous new single, “No Difference.” Cornelius, who formerly played with the Melbourne band Teeth & Tongue, wrote “No Difference” before making the move from Australia to Los Angeles. In the spirit of massive, cross-Pacific moves, the song is both nostalgic and longing for a fresh start. For the song’s visuals, Cornelius enlisted the help of friends and acquaintances in Melbourne.
Singer-songwriter Jess Cornelius, who used to be part of Australian group Teeth & Tongue, has just released her debut solo single, “No Difference.” A nice piece of anthemic guitar pop, the song’s video focuses on eyes and has Jess singing from the bathtub. “We wanted to introduce the water element because of its cleansing/rebirthing properties, but water is also destructive, and the image of someone wearing a white suit in a full bathtub implies someone slightly unhinged,” says Jess.
Wellington-raised, Los Angeles-based songwriter Jess Cornelius (Teeth & Tongue) was recently in Aotearoa for her first hometown show in seventeen years, playing alongside local heroes French For Rabbits. The expat artist’s debut solo collection Nothing Is Lost made significant waves when it dropped in 2017, garnering praise from such international tastemakers as NYLON and Tone Deaf magazine.
Now based in Los Angeles, Wellington-raised musician Jess Cornelius refined her skills as a songwriter, vocalist and instrumentalist in Melbourne with her acclaimed, genre-bending project Teeth & Tongue. From 2008 to 2016, she released four albums and used music as a way to explore the world, touring through Australia, Europe, the US and the UK, and connecting with audiences through song, humour and sentiment.
When Jess Cornelius named her 2016 album Give Up on Your Health, she did so as a warning to herself not to get sick – physically, or mentally. As an artist, she couldn’t afford it. The musician, who performs as Teeth & Tongue, has just swapped Melbourne for LA. Sounds great, except she found that sorting out visas, tax, social security numbers and bank accounts leaves little time for creativity. Being a musician is dispiriting, she says.