Tennyson Fort York, Toronto ON, June 4

Tennyson Fort York, Toronto ON, June 4
Photo: Shane Parent

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So much information can be communicated in just a look or a glance, a fact that becomes abundantly clear watching Edmontonian brother/sister electronic duo Tennyson. The group's set at Field Trip on Sunday (June 4) was driven by looks, glances, raised eyebrows and smiles, the kind of communication imperative to delivering such a lucid set. Working with an advanced toolkit might come with the sibling territory, like they're operating on some Escape to Witch Mountain level, but it's also an indicator of bands that really listen to one another.
 
"Beautiful World" served as a highpoint of their set, and featured both members on vocals at the song's climax. Tess Pretty's marching beat punctuated her brother's longing voice and dreamy melody.
 
Musically they're also drawing on another kind of expanded language, where pops, whistles, moans, laughs and whirrs are just as percussive as the beat of a drum. Tess's digital drum kit was responsible for a wide palette of sounds, while Luke often handled the more melodic work using soft synths and keys. Even with the very digital setup, their performance still sounded very "live" and in the moment, as if they were an electronic outfit first weaned on jazz.