Tess Wiley

Tess Wiley


Intimate, folky, acoustic songs sung with a heartfelt and melancholic voice. All surprisingly uplifting and certainly catchy in that pop kind of way.


Tess began following her bliss at the tender age of five when she tried her hands at the piano. Over the years came violin and guitar, and she attended a performing arts high school, focussing on classical piano. After graduating, she toured Europe and America with Sixpence none the Richer and Velour100. She ended up marrying a German and moving to central Germany, but that didn't stop her from recording her debut album in New York City in a high-end mobile recording studio (at least when it wasn't on location at the many MTV, VH1 or other live events around the Big Apple.) Tess now finds herself an artist on the rapidly growing independent German label Tapete Records. Her third record entitled Superfast Rock n' Roll Played Slow will be released in April of 2007.
The album was mainly recorded at home with some help from friends around the world, thanks to the invention of digital recording and Macintosh's iDisk. Using that technology, for example, Buddy Miller was able to record a guitar track to Tess's countryfied hearbreaker "Crying for you". Other tracks such as the record's opener "Halfway Through" were performed almost exclusively by Tess - even the drums - with a bit of help from the bass player of the band with whom she occasionally performs live.
It's hard to sum up the style of this record, but with influences ranging from Björk to Willie Nelson, that's understandable. A little bit of Americana, some folk mixed with pop, sometimes sad and heart-wrenching, but always with a sense of hope that characterizes her songwriting style, this collection of songs spotlights Tess's range of musical styles as well as allowing a peek into her broad emotional spectrum. And as a treat at the end of the CD, Tess even sings a song in German.


Halfway Through

Written By: Tess Wiley

When the body’s slow but the brain’s fast
It’s a frustrating contrast
When dreams are big but the means are small
It says a lot that you got anywhere at all.

You won’t know which way the story goes
Until you’re halfway through the book
Once you’re there, turning the page can be quite scary,
But I dare you to take a look

Your hopes were up, but you got the thumbs down
You always knew it would come ‘round
That your will would be killed, and when the thrill of the fight
Has finally left, you’re finally right

Crying for you

Written By: Tess Wiley

I wrote you a letter, I should have known better,
I knew it would never get through
I could’ve called, but baby there’s all this
Static that scatters my groove, and I’m

Crying for you, I don’t know what is getting me though
But I’m willing to do what I have to do (to get back to you)

Lately the trees have been losing their leaves,
And I’ve been losing heart
If only I went with you and spent the summer
We’d not be apart

If this is the end, then I’m giving in
‘Cause I don’t like to annoy
But words such as “please” and “down on my knees”
Are screaming to be employed

Raise Your Hand

Written By: Tess Wiley

Now, I know it’s not all black and white
Everybody has the right to decide what one wants to hear,
But my ears have been abused, and it’s killing my muse

Raise your hand if you’ve had enough
Turn your radio and television off
And surprise you will see how inspired it can be
Raise your hand

Just when I start to think that I suck
I hear what people say is hot and think, “Well, what the fuck?”
Have these people lost their minds or am I one of the few who has a clue?

If you agree, pass it on, tell your friends about this song


Superfast Rock n' Roll Played Slow (release date April 27, 2007)
Not Quite Me (2004) feat. singles "Not Quite Me" and "This Shadow" which received highest rotation on German radio
Rainy Day Assembly (2001)

Set List

A typical Tess Wiley set ranges from 45 minutes to one and a half hours, but she's also capable of filling an evening with 2-3 hours of music with several sets, if the occasion calls for it. Her songs are mostly originals, but covers in the past have included songs from Feist, Willie Nelson, Men at Work, Over the Rhine, Iris Dement and even Christina Aguilera and Debbie Boone. Here is a sample set list:

Not Quite Me
How Does Silence Feel
Let it Come
Crying for you
You Light up my Life
Halfway Through
Raise Your Hand
This Shadow
(in the case of an encore, Tess often plays Iris Dement's "My Life" and sometimes even a fun, half-assed version of "The Voice Within")