"EDITOR'S PICK!" Indie-Music.com.
"Superb lyrics in a soulful dress..HIGHLY recommended." Jazz And Soul Review.eu
"Really impressed with the vocal range and soulful sounds that are draped all over her music." Seattle Weekly
“If Alicia Keys retires, Tess is ready to grab the mic and the keys. Tess’ music will take you back to true R&B and make Alicia want to go practice. The sky is truly the limit for this young lady.” HotIndieMusic.com
"Are you kidding me? These kids are NOT from Seattle." KIRO Radio 97.3FM - Ron & Don Show
Definitely not your typical R&B/Soul artist, Tess was born on Halloween to a professional singer and a Seattle area record collector. The singer credits daily Suzuki piano lessons from the age of three for developing the “musicality” in her songwriting. A recent University of Washington grad, the hard-working Tess has performed hundreds of shows at the area’s top venues, often with her brother, Carson Henley.
Tess’ Easy To Love CD (2008), and The Appetizer (2010 EP), showcase an emotional voice and rhythmic piano that got her voted Best Local Band by the listeners of the Northwest's largest radio station. And her Boy In The Window was recently voted the #1 soul song on the MTV Partner website, Ourstage.com. Tower Records (Japan) has also become a supporter of Tess’ unique brand of music, pushing a Special Edition CD with some very large in-store displays and recommendations. "Tower has been so nice” says Tess, “they’ve blessed the record with marketing that some of the big labels don't even get these days, Arigato! Tower". On other fronts, her songs are currently licensed as in-store “branding music” for U.S. and European retail chains (GAP, Armani, Starbucks, others), through non-exclusive agreements.
Tess’ sound draws comparisons to Alicia Keys, Corinne Bailey Rae and a "soulful Sara Bareilles". Music lovers from all over are beginning to take notice, thanks to reviews like these; The highly respected Soul & Jazz & Funk (UK) says “Tess shows remarkable maturity and focus, her music is draped in luscious harmonies; it’s truly infectious. The Henley approach to music is all about craftsmanship, commitment and an appreciation of what truly constitutes musicality.” Jazz & Soul (EUR) calls it “An extremely fresh album” while the largest soul site in America, Soul Tracks, adds, “Henley as a vocalist doesn’t suffer from being compared to Alicia Keys. Both eschew the breathy little girl sound that is the rage these days. Henley, like Keys, opens her mouth and gives a full-throated vocal that sounds mature, passionate and believable."
“I don't often like to share my innermost thoughts and feelings with strangers” admits Tess, “but music's been a therapeutic way to peel away a few layers and pour out those emotions." Recently, this therapy includes long hours in the studio with Carson, toiling away on a very special labor of love, finishing a CD for their cousin, Carly Henley, who recently died at the age of 20. Carly was also a singer/songwriter, and “such a beautiful person, inside and out”.
With college now behind her, Tess is "writing more than ever and pursing music 24/7”. This has created a large and growing backlog of new songs that will be featured on an upcoming full-length CD. Tess says, “My next move is to find well-connected producer(s), someone like a young Mark Batson (India Arie, Eminem, Anthony Hamilton) to cut a track or two to see where it goes". The new CD will be completed over the next year, and like her large, Italian family celebrations, it promises to include "big helpings of stick-to-your-ribs, main course entrees". But in the meantime, you can enjoy The Appetizer.