in their new clip ‘got the feeling’, sydney band tees explore sensory pleasure

The band have a message: Pop bubble wrap, peel paint, feel good and somehow form a duality between your head and heart.

by Wendy Syfret
|
08 June 2016, 1:15am

Image via Facebook

Naming your creative pursuit after a basic item of clothing is a pretty bold move. It assumes that eventually, you and your work will surpass this well worn staple, and triumph as the reigning Google champion. Right now, if you Google TEES the results are still dominated by online stores and bulk buy offerings, but chuck a band on the end of your search and you'll be warmly rewarded.

The Sydney based duo, made up of Lizzy Tillman and Sean Duarte, strike that impressive balance between hypnotic, cloudy, sweetness and bangers you can dance to. But they're hardly caught up in mere earthly concerns like making you sweat in the dark. They're looking at what makes us feel and why, questioning how we experience the world and in turn edit and cultivate our own experiences. In the new clip for their track Got The Feeling their sensory exploration is given physical expression, and they remind us how smart party music can be.

We caught up with them to talk about bringing the ephemeral into the physical world.

You've said this song is about the "purity of sensation outside of knowing." Do you mind expanding on that a bit?
Liz: As we experience life and interact with it, we begin to like certain things and dislike others, everyone does. Sometimes we don't know why. We just do. It could be a person, place or thing. Sometimes though, I find myself questioning why I like certain experiences. I get frustrated trying to untangle these preferences. I guess what I'm saying is, I have to remember to step back. Just accept and enjoy certain things and go with it. Stop shooting myself in the foot, so to speak.

Sean: Yeah, I guess what we mean is that purity of experience only really happens in the moment. Hence the purity of sensation—or the touching and feeling shown in the clip—can only happen when we are present and conscious of our immediate surroundings.

So it's about the breakdown between knowing and feeling, head and heart—is that a struggle you find yourself facing?
Liz: Definitely, I think every self reflective person is going to be constantly questioning the motivations behind certain things and concepts. But as I said earlier, it can get very confusing. I guess it's about somehow forming a duality between your head and heart, helping them work together, rather than being up against each other all the time. But yes, I do struggle with it.

Sean: That's a simple human phenomenon. We all struggle between those worlds and sometimes attach ourselves to one or the other, as we might find solace in each one at different times of our lives.

These are pretty ephemeral themes, how do you begin to express this stuff in music?
Sean: The fact the music is indirect in its approach reflects this. The track is neither completely invested in ecstasy or completely isolated from it. It's reflective but hopeful: the dreamy textures and relentless 909 and pianos really mould to create this feeling I think.

Liz: I like to write for the 'heart', then organise it later with my 'head'.

And this played into the concepts of the video?
Liz: It's more the heart that is represented in this video. Brains don't serve a purpose when something is absurd.

Are the items we see representative of something more?
Liz: The items themselves, not so much, but how they are manipulated and abstracted, yes. You know those sensual things you like doing? Like ripping long sheets of dried paint off a wall or popping bubble wrap, it feels good, and it's fun! The objects reflective of that, the actions in themselves are pointless, the only purpose they serve is to feel good.

@teesdancegroup

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Text Wendy Syfret
Image via Facebook

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Music
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