Tess Dunn and band is celebrating her 20th birthday with a performance this coming Sunday night Dec 14th over at Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz at 7 pm. Dunn who has cystic fibrosis will be donating the evening’s proceeds to benefit Cystic Fibrosis Research and Organ Donor Awareness. Her latest recording is “Daydreamers”.
Like the college freshman she is, who just moved on from high school, Santa Cruz singer/songwriter Tess Dunn’s new 4 song EP “Daydreamers” shows just how far her budding music career has graduated with this polished third recording. Check out the 3rd cut, “Stay” where she’s asking “why didn’t you?” and feel the sting.
Yes, Tess Dunn is still writing edgy songs about her love life – real and imagined – which she says in the liner notes, is way TMI according to her dad, Santa Cruz writer and historian, Geoffrey Dunn. Yeah, well ok… but one thing for sure, the EP is loaded with smart power pop-punk music and mature vocals, but a couple of the songs on the EP seem almost overly angry. I really feel sorry for the person on the receiving end of “Say You Fell” who’s told “I hope you like it in hell”. Ouch. It’s one of Dunn’s best songs yet- tight, catchy and nasty.
“Daydreamers” was recorded in Portland, Oregon where Dunn and her band have attracted a following.This recording was made possible thanks to a very successful web fundraising campaign. It was produced again by Ari Shine who worked on her previous cd’s and who plays most of the instruments. Co-producing along with Dunn, Sean Flora mixed the tunes and contributed some bass and vocals. Ms. Dunn wrote all the songs and plays piano, synthesizer and ukulele. The title song is the one you want to play over and over. It’s got hit written all over it.
Closing out Dunn’s “Daydreamers” EP is the very romantic piece titled “Steady” that opens with her elegant piano playing followed by some goofing off way after the song ends. With this EP, Tess Dunn has proved that she has staying power and has progressed a long ways. She’s tuff.
Can we hope for a LP and no EP next time? –Eric Berg
VIDEO: “Stay” by Tess Dunn