“I knew it was a song that should be a warning,” says Tess Stevens, lead singer of San Francisco punk rock band Tess & The Details, on their first single and music video “Canary.” “I started thinking about things collapsing, sirens, caution…and then the image of a canary in a coal mine came to mind.” “Canary” is the first single and video from their upcoming record Runaway (out November 14th via Double Helix Records). Tess & The Details' distinct West Coast Punk sound calls upon favorites such as Alkaline Trio, Rise Against, Foo Fighters, and The Bombpops.
Expanding on the usage of canaries as harbingers of danger, Tess adds, “Canaries were used in coal mines to help alert miners of toxicity in the air. They’d die or pass out in this horrific cage and that would warn the humans to evacuate. Using that I started thinking about how many times I’ve cheated horrible outcomes in my lifetime, and the canary sort of took over everything. The song is about feeling like something bad is always about to happen to you - and how that headspace can basically eat you alive if you don’t change your perspective.”
Runaway was recorded at ModernTone Studios in Lafayette, CA and produced, mixed, and engineered by Jacob Light (Tess Stevens, Michael Patrick Murphy, Tom Rican, Kat Van Morgan).
The West Coast punk record kicks off with the anthemic “Blondie’s Gonna Die,” in which buzzsaw guitars catapult the listener into the world of Tess & The Details. Tess sings with a self-assured forcefulness, “When they told me I was crazy / I should've listened / I could have just laid down / Oh the white coats are a comin’ / in straight jackets they’ll be running / all through this damn ghost town…” There's an air of anti-establishment throughout the album, as “Blondie’s Gonna Die” is followed by “Canary,” and then “Runaway,” the album’s title track. “Runaway” evokes familiar bands such as Green Day and No Doubt, showcasing Tess’s powerful voice as she belts the rousing chant.
“There are a lot of character-driven songs where we took some of our experiences and filtered them through characters, like ‘Saint of Purgatory’ and ‘Johnny’,” Tess describes. “We wanted to tell stories that could feel familiar to everyone, but through a witty and dark lyrical lens - like the catchy and melodically light take on mental torture in ‘Mania.’” Runaway is full of contradictions, reflecting that humanity also embodies such dualities.
“We just want to make great songs and see people going nuts to them when we play live. It’s really pretty simple - “Runaway” is just the start of what we hope will be a really good time.”