Meet Tess Fowler, the Adelaide performer who’s so nice you get to see her twice.
Tess is presenting two projects this month: the release of a visual album from the soul-folk duo Sitara she’s in with her sister Erin and a one-woman show about her global journey of self-discovery.
Sitara’s visual album, ‘Alchemy’, is an audio-visual masterpiece comprised of eight songs each accompanied by their own video. “Technically it’s eight videos put together,” Tess explains.
“So each song has its own individual clip, but overall ‘Alchemy’ as a visual album is one, long forty-minute film.”
A self-confessed sufferer of regular existential crises, Tess says the overall narrative of ‘Alchemy’ brings together different explorations of the inner relationship that we have with ourselves. “The whole film clip is different explorations of that so it doesn’t have one, whole chronological narrative,” she says.
“But the overarching theme is going into the darkness and having to face your own darkness in order to come out the other side and experience the light. That emotional expression is the alchemy that transforms darkness into light.”
The first single from the album is ‘Oh Mama’, a song that examines the place of women in what is still considered to be a ‘man’s world’. “'Oh Mama’ is starting off in a place of discomfort,” Tess explains.
“It’s looking at women’s place in society and exploring the difference between very harsh, rigid and quite masculine ideas of strength that women are often expected to have in order to be strong or to succeed. So that softer essence of femininity is often denied or chastised. Lyrically it’s about women wanting to come together and find a place in that.”
The ‘Alchemy’ album will be released with the full theatrical version screened independently at Mercury Cinema in early June.
Hot on the heels of ‘Alchemy’ comes Tess’ second project, her one-woman show ‘Revelations Of An Angry Beast’ that is part theatrical storytelling and part soulful song.
It is a semi-autobiographical piece that reflects the personal journey of self-discovery undertaken by Tess. “I took the global journey angle because I have done so much travelling in my life and so much of that travel has been motivated by heartbreak or going in search of love.
“So the whole show is a review and reflection on the ridiculous lengths I’ve gone to [in order] to find validation from other people. It’s a classic self-love journey about what we have to do to be able to love ourselves.
“It goes into things from my childhood like bullying, which set me on the path of having low self-esteem. But that’s not anything anyone who knows me or meets me would ever assume.”
‘Revelations Of An Angry Beast’ is a one-woman show that speaks to many about the importance of being comfortable in your own skin. “I’m hoping through telling my story it can tell more universal themes that other people can relate to as well,” Tess says.
“Because I think in society at the moment the notion of self-love is thrown around and everyone thinks it’s a hippie, spiritual concept but it’s actually hugely lacking across the western world.”
‘Alchemy’ is released 7 June. The screening premiere takes place at Mercury Cinema (Adelaide) 6 June. ‘Revelations Of An Angry Beast’ takes place as part of Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival at Bakehouse Theatre 21-24 June.