Meet the counselors of Dirtybird Campout: Tennyson
Dirtybird Campout, Southern California’s wildest adult summer camp, is preparing for its third installment this weekend, October 6-8. As has been established in its past editions, the campout will be packed with childhood nostalgia, scrumptious BBQ, and earth-shaking beats. Furthermore, this year will be its biggest yet, with a move to a larger venue at Lake San Antonio. Adding to the label’s nest of talent, acts like Amtrac, Coyu, and the Desert Hearts crew will be joining the house haven’s music lineup with more special guests still to be announced. Ahead of this weekend’s bonfire debauchery, we’ve teamed up with Dirtybird for an ongoing interview series spotlighting both the imprint’s own stars and the myriad of world-class artists on the concert’s bill.
Brother and sister act Tennyson represent a step outside the status quo when it comes to electronica. Hailing from Canada, the two wield their vast experience as musicians (they began as buskers) into their work with full blinders on toward whatever tropes are taking over the contemporary dance space. What results is rich, fluid bass music whose experimental flair involves everything from jazz to glitch elements. Their eclectic, yet avant-garde take on production has made them a well-loved act in the underground indie realm despite having only gotten started in 2013. The past year in particular has been bountyful for Tennyson, with a remix signed to Fool’s Gold records and collaborations with Mr. Carmack under their belt, in addition to a brand new EP titled Uh Oh!, whose release is on the horizon.
Given Claude VonStroke’s outspoken love of the lower frequencies of music, it makes perfect sense that the fledgling duo were handpicked to appear at this year’s Dirtybird Campout. The two sat down to answer camping-related inquiries, as well as provide us with an inkling of what’s coming down their pipeline.
How long have you been performing for & how did you get your start?
Very first Tennyson performance was in 2013 around Christmas time. We had a jazz cover band before that so we had all the instruments we needed.
What was your first label release? Would you still play it?
Luke: The release at end of this month will be the first!
What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?
Tess: Our first tour with Ryan Hemsworth was a huge step. The exposure from playing those shows got us a ton of new listeners, and we made a lot of great friends as well.
Luke: “Like What EP” changed a lot of things for us, it’s probably the reason we had fans in Asia and Europe.
If you could be another artist for a day, who would you pick?
Tess: Psy (Gangnam Style!)
Luke: Yeah, probably Psy too.
What are you looking forward to most about Dirtybird Campout?
Tess: I really love playing outdoor music festivals. There’s something nostalgic about sitting on dry grass and smelling trees while listening to music. I think it’s because when we were kids our parents took us to a lot of smaller outdoor music festivals so they will always have really nice warm vibes for me.
If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
Luke: Matthew Dear, Deebs, Justin Martin
What are three essential items you wouldn’t go camping without?
Tess: Three packs of tiny camping cereals.
Luke: Porlex, Aeropess, Coffee
Do you have a favorite (or funny) camping memory?
Tess: Our family attended this tiny music festival in Alberta when we kids and Luke and I both brought our best friends. We met all the other kids who were camping and when the sun went down we organized a massive game of hide-and-seek tag. I love the kid feeling of like hiding in the trees somewhere with your friends and catching your breath because you’ve been running and the whole time there’s been a band playing music in the background.