Photo: Henry Hanky

Tenci returns with the quietly confident “Two Cups”, announces new album

Chicago act Tenci have returned with the news of a new album called A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing, which arrives on November 4 through Keeled Scales. Whereas Tenci’s 202 debut album My Heart Is An Open Field was a showcase for singer/songwriter Jess Shoman, helped out by a rotating cast of collaborators, this time around Tenci has a settled lineup of musicians from the Chicago scene, featuring Curtis Oren on saxophone and guitar, Izzy Reidy (Izzy True) on bass, and Joseph Farago (Joey Nebulous) on drums.

The first taste of this bolder sound comes in the lead single “Two Cups”, a song that is lyrically minimal but packed with emotion thanks to Shoman’s rich and characterful delivery and the fuller sound brought by the band. Shoman revolves around the thought, “I didn’t know I had to wait to fill my cup,” then determines: “I won’t wait to fill my cup.” She doesn’t say it forcefully, but there’s a determination in her voice that suggests someone learning their value and owning their space in the world. Add to that the backing of some wailing guitars and sax skronks, and “Two Cups” is a quietly confident statement of intent.

Check out the video for “Two Cups” below, or find it on streaming platforms.

Tenci’s new album A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing comes out on November 4 through Keeled Scales (pre-order). You can find Tenci on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.