Tess' eighth album 'The Burren', now available through Bandcamp invites the listener on her early January 2020, pre-lockdown travels through the Burren, or ‘Great Rock’ in Irish, a region in West Ireland (Clare) dominated by limestone pavement. The place has always held a fascination for Tess, with its contrasts of vast and intimate, barren and fertile, tumbled fortifications still fresh along the roadside, thriving local communities at a stone’s throw, full of music and outdoors recreation.

The first release is “He Walks In Beauty”, a paean to creativity and to Byron, who inspired Tess to set one of his most famous poems to melody, as was likely the original intention. Recorded in Perryvale Studios, London, September 2020, an electronic guitar arpeggio-turned-clarion call in the choruses (played by Barry Cadogan) weaves its way through the track, harpsichord taking the baton for the quieter verses, evoking the drawing room affectations of the romantic age, when new and radical thinking, ways of living and increasing social awareness were being discussed and explored.

Tess’ video shot in Venice, where Byron spent two or three years writing, studying and otherwise entertaining himself, does justice to the song, the locations chosen by Tess, currently staying in Cannaregio. The inclusion of the track on such an overtly Irish themed album Tess explains is due to his close associations with Ireland, including his best friend Thomas Moore being Irish national songwriter (“Last Rose of Summer”) and Byron’s openly hibernophile sympathies, at the time supporting Irish independence.

More on Tess and her music can be found under the links above, including the Youtube link for the video “He Walks In Beauty”, shot and edited with artful sensitivity and humour. Keep an eye open for ‘Burren Beag', or ‘Little Burren’, dropping soon, a few leftover tracks with Burren charm.

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