Teeth & Tongue
Sounds Like: Dancing alone in the dark and not apologizing for it.
For Fans of: Blondie, Kate Bush, Chromatics
Why You Should Pay Attention: Teeth & Tongue is the cheeky moniker of Jess Cornelius, a New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based musician who specializes in dark, disco-tinged pop. What started out as the name of Cornelius' solo album took her on a long, peculiar journey — involving the breakup of a longtime relationship, living like a nomad for the better part of a year and retreating to the Nes artist residency in Iceland. The band recently supported Courtney Barnett on her headlining album tour, and they're set to release the shimmering LP Give Up On Your Health on Captured Tracks later this fall. It vibrates with arpeggiated synths, drum machines and Cornelius' wistful croons. "It's a little more curious, I think," Cornelius says of the album. "I got a little sick of writing about myself as well. [So] I'm looking at other kinds of relationships, not just the romantic ones or ones in front of my face all the time."
They Say: "We were in this tiny town [at the Iceland residency], and no one had a car," says Cornelius. "We only had access to this little corner store and that's where we did our shopping. Sometimes you'd go and there'd be a cabbage, and it'd be like $12. Sometimes you couldn't get fresh bread but you could get like, turmeric root. One time the village put on a traditional dinner, with gray, fermented meats. The whole idea was that you'd go to the dinner, you'd have a piece of fermented shark and they'd give you a shot of Brennivin, the liquor that they drink, to wash it down. But when we went home, the girl I was staying with, we had to wash everything — hats, gloves, because the cloakroom had been in the same room as the fermented shark! It kind of smells a bit like like ammonia."
Hear for Yourself: Cornelius says the infectious forgiveness banger "Dianne" is "a bit of a letter to myself I was writing when I was a teenager." PAULA MEJIA