Over the years, you’ve probably heard Now, Now’s emo indie-pop melodies, but you might not be as familiar with Tancred. Fronted by Now, Now singer-songwriter Jess Abbott, Tancred find its roots in sharp lyrics and power-pop.
The band’s third record Out of the Garden just came out earlier this month featuring tracks that show Jess redefining empowerment and going against feminine expectations. Through raw vocals and 90s guitar riffs, Jess mixes the sweet with the moody. What really makes the album stand out is Jess’ ability to discuss “forbidden” topics for women like purity, binary gender, heterosexuality and holiness.
We chatted with Jess about the meaning behind her solo project and playing with darkness.
How Tancred started: During [the time of Now, Now]. I was in Now, Now for almost two years before I started Tancred as a solo outlet for my own songs.
On her solo project: Writing these songs alone has made them pretty different from Now, Now. I got to sit alone with my own interests and ideas and in the end I came up with something a lot more aggressive, at least with this new album.
On her artist moniker: It’s a character’s name from a Welsh book series I used to read as a kid. Tancred was my favorite one.
Themes of the record: There are a lot of themes in the album that come together in a certain way I think, but I guess an umbrella could be: taking control of yourself and your desires. Or playing with the dark aggressiveness of lack of control.
Favorite artist at the moment: Really obsessed with PWR BTTM. They manage to get this raw, sharp point across while still being funny as fuck and so relatable. Also, gender-bending lyrics are the best.
Favorite songs to write and record: I had a lot of fun writing and recording “Bed Case.” It was the last song I wrote for the album but as I was writing it I could feel that it was going to be the defining song for the album. It made it enjoyable to work on. During recording we had a lot of fun layering the guitars and making the choruses as big and shiny as we could.
Plans for the rest of 2016? Tour as much as I can and hang out.