Teeth & Tongue


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Teeth & Tongue is the moniker of Melbourne based, Wellington raised songwriter and musician Jess Cornelius. Armed with a drum machine, vocal samples and guitar, she weaves hypnotic songs through pared-back rhythms, percussion, layered vocal samples and bent-out-of-shape guitar lines through her songs of yearning and simmering discontent.

Born in Ngāruawāhia, near Hamilton she lived there for the first 10 years of her life, then her family moved to Wellington when she was 11. Music was the one constant, and her parent’s record collection played a huge role in fuelling her desire to make music, and she entered a couple of local “battle of the bands” comps while at school. But it wasn’t until a move to Melbourne at 19 saw her tap into her musical potential.

Formed in 2009, Teeth & Tongue continues to alternate between solo and band formats. Her debut record ‘Monobasic’ received critical acclaim from Australian media, and reviews in Rolling Stone Magazine, Triple J Magazine, Who Weekly and Yen Magazine.

Her third album ‘Grids’, released in March 2014 by Dot Dash/Remote Control, earned an AMP Award nomination and four The Age/Music Victoria nominations and led to spots on Meredith Music Festival, Boogie and three consecutive national tours in 2014.

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The album was the catalyst for a new ‘Teeth & Tongue’ line up yet, to flesh out the ‘Grids’ sound live. ‘Teeth & Tongue’ has performed at SXSW and CMJ, appeared on Rockwiz twice, played the Falls and Laneway festivals, toured the USA and Europe, toured Australia with Vance Joy and Courtney Barnett, performed at MONA and the NGV, and once spent four weeks making an EP in public at the National Gallery of Victoria.

In 2016 Teeth & Tongue released ‘Give Up On Your Health’ to universal acclaim.

“Catchy guitar riffs, pervasive drums, and echoey vocals, it’s a little Le Tigre, a little B-52s (with a dash of Go-Gos) but, more importantly, it’s a whole lot of fun.” – Entertainment Weekly US

“A new artist you need to know” – Rolling Stone USA

“Like Radiohead, under-rate Teeth & Tongue albums at your peril.” – Herald Sun, ★★★★

“Glacial keys and cracking drums that rise from echoing blank space like the best ’80s synth-pop.” – The Age, ★★★★

“A masterclass in synth-laden rock…One of the most compelling albums of the year.” Beat Magazine Album of the Week, ★★★★.5

Sydney Morning Herald, ★★★★

“Totally upped the ante as far as bombastic, memorable 1980s nuances go.” -The Music, ★★★★

“Give Up On Your Health broadens its sound with room-filling synths, percolating rhythms and gorgeously unfurling guitar lines.” -Rolling Stone Aus, ★★★★

Teeth & Tongue: The 13th Floor Interview

Last edited: 20.10.16

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