Volume 036 is a collection of music about bodies and minds that move in the world, and the mysterious art and iconography of Tessa Rose Jackson is a perfect match for it. Tessa, who creates art and music under the moniker Someone, was the mastermind behind the volume’s phenakistoscopes. Phenakistoscopes were the very first widespread form of animation, and their use in Volume 036 brought something that feels both classic and groundbreaking to our latest record.
Tessa Rose Jackson began her artistic career at the BRIT School of Performing Arts in London, alma mater to performers from Adele to Kate Nash. She released her debut album, (Songs From) The Sandbox, under her real name in 2013, and received widespread acclaim and placement on TV shows like New Girl. But as Tessa transitioned from her teenage years to adulthood, she began to feel constricted by the groundwork laid by that first record. She had always been a multidisciplinary artist – not content with merely playing different instruments, but also steeping herself in different styles, different formats, even different artistic mediums. So she invented the persona Someone, with a name that tells people: “Don’t worry about who I am. Just check out what I make. It’s much more interesting.” From experimental psychedelic pop to visual art to film, Someone is a bold new direction that rewards more as you take in each facet of her creative output.
Someone’s visual art style, like the project as a whole, draws from many influences. Symbols and iconography play a big role in her abstract art, bringing to mind geometric work by Piet Mondrian. But her work also toys with perspective in ways that evoke MC Escher, and her use of color as an emotive force recalls Wassily Kadinsky and Henri Matisse. Sometimes her pieces have titles that give context to the work’s meaning, such as her trio of paintings titled “Reasons I Can’t Sleep”. Others, like “Forget, Forgive” and “The Deep”, share titles with her songs and even feature lyrics embedded in the art itself. But they all manage to place themselves in an emotive dreamworld, all illuminated rooms and dark corridors with peeks at rich night skies, while figures and objects shifting over different panels or through implicit momentum. It’s fitting that she chose to create phenakistoscopes for Volume 036, whose twin sides stack on top of each other and allow for their figures to literally move, change, and morph when viewed in the dark with a single strobing light. (For a how-to video on animating these phenakistoscopes, click HERE.)
Luckily, Tessa’s Someone project is already gaining steam. Her first EP, titled Chain Reaction, is available now, and has already found placement in Dear White People. Each song features an accompanying short film which you can view HERE, the title track winning “Best Music Video” at the New Renaissance Film Festival. She recently completed an art exhibition in Amsterdam’s Studio K. Best of all, it seems Tessa’s nowhere near slowing down: she updates her instagram constantly with new art, information on music and live shows, and more. We can’t wait to see, hear, and experience more from Tessa and Someone.