Jess Cornelius first began writing the songs that would comprise Distance after moving from Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles. At the time, she was excited to start fresh after several years as the primary songwriter in the band Teeth and Tongue. But the distance she addresses over the album is hardly a geographical one. Instead, Distance finds a deft songwriter analyzing the space between society’s expectations for her and her own dreams; between a past she is ready to let go of and a future she could have hardly imagined.
Distance documents a songwriter in the pursuit of living life on her own terms. As Cornelius puts it, “A lot of the record was about me deciding to continue this nomadic lifestyle of being a musician. People would ask me if I was going to have a family and a lot of the songs are about me being ok with not pursuing that path. It was about coming to terms with the choices I had made. And then two years later, I’m knocked up! I couldn’t have imagined that.”
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.
With the help of producer Tony Buchen, Distance became a roving affair, recorded in a string of Los Angeles studios with delicate and emphatic contributions from the local music scene, including Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), harpist Mary Lattimore, Emily Elhaj (Angel Olsen), Stephanie Drootin (Bright Eyes), Jesse Quebbeman-Turley (Hand Habits), whistler Molly Lewis, Justin Sullivan (Night Shop, Kevin Morby) and Laura Jean Anderson.
Now based in LA, Jess Cornelius was born and raised in New Zealand before moving to Melbourne, Australia, where she released three critically acclaimed albums as Teeth & Tongue, receiving nominations for the Australian Music Prize and a J-Award in 2016. She has performed the world over playing alongside Courtney Barnett, J. Mascis, Juana Molina and Laura Marling, as well as at Meredith Music Festival, Laneway Festival, Falls Festival. SXSW and CMJ.
Praise for Distance:
“An incredible new record” — NPR Music, Robin Hilton
“This album opened up a whole new fandom for me” — NPR Music, Ann Powers
“Winning songs about finding delight in despair…Cornelius handles heaviness with an enviable lightness, finding new resiliency in every rebound.” — Pitchfork
“A kind of 21st century amalgam of Karen Dalton’s delicate folk and 70s jam band Americana” — Guardian
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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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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.