Tess Liautaud – On the cusp

We were excited to see Tess Liautaud’s name come to the top of our reviews pile today. We previously reviewed her bright and cheerful Americana track, Breezy As, so we eagerly sat down all ears ready for her latest offering.

‘On The Cusp’ comes ahead of Liautaud’s debut and self-titled album – out June 17th. On the cusp is about being, well, on the cusp! It’s about being on the precipice of a new adventure where you know some change is about to occur and you can just feel it bubbling under the surface. If Liautaud’s music is anything to go by, that change might just be a whole bunch of new fans across the globe.

On The Cusp starts with some beautifully picked gentle acoustic guitar. Liautaud’s smooth and lush folk style vocals join the song and you know you’re in for something super-peaceful and relaxing. As the song progresses, a gentle kick drum and bass are added and help develop the sound and maintain the listeners interest.

Part way through that all important second verse, the song develops into much more, with a full drum kit, some great brush work on the snare and some glorious backing vocals.

The performance of the acoustic guitar playing is superb and we urge you to check out Tess Liataud’s tour dates below;
Liautaud is about to embark on a 14 date tour and we urge anyone in the South Island area (NZ) to go take a listen. You won’t be disappointed.

Le Bons Bay – Reserve Hall – April 23
Akaroa – The Grand – April 24
Christchurch – Six Ounces – April 27
Picton – Le Cafe – April 29
Mapua – Golden Bear – May 1
Nelson – Kismet – May 4
Hokitika – Gatherer – May 6
Franz Josef – Kahere Retreat – May 7
Arrowtown – Bluedoor – May 13
Ophir – Peace Memorial Hall – May 14
Gore – Little Theatre – May 19
Invercargill – Southland Musicians Club – May 20
Dunedin – Bark! May 21
Oamaru – Secret Location – May 22

On The Cusp rises and falls nicely and gently throughout. It builds with changes in snare pattern and added gentle organ in the background. This is truly authentic Americana from a well travelled artist.

The long instrumental, and repeated vocal lines make On The Cusp a perfect song to be considered for a TV sync deal. This style of Americana/singer-songwriter is extremely popular amongst music supervisors at the moment and we would urge Liautaud to investigate this avenue further to garner new fans in combination with her busy looking tour schedule.

From a production perspective, we’d suggest a little notch out in the acoustic guitar track which is resonating around 196Hz (G). This will stop it from dominating slightly as it rings out. A cut in the low mids (around 400-500Hz) will eliminate some boxiness in the vocals, most likely caused during the recording process. A wide boost centred around 4kHz (but with caution around 2500Hz to avoid any harshness in the parts where the song builds) will add more balance overall and give just a touch more life and air to the overall sound.

We’re happy to have heard another track from New Zealand artist, Tess Liautaud today. On the cusp is a gentle, well considered gentle song which is likely to win her new fans everywhere, especially on the live scene. We wish her all the very best

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