They recorded the album in Radcliffe’s home in just a couple months. Having played in the band, he understood the tenderness it needed to maintain. Half of the songs were written the week before. The album retains that spontaneity and rawness. Shoman says “It was such a fun way to record without second guessing myself and to let things be.”
The band name comes from Shoman’s grandmother’s name Hortencia, who she feels is her kindred spirit. Her memories of hearing her sing while cooking or cleaning influenced some of the same qualities in her own voice, a sweet and shaky vibrato she could feel moving through her. The end of Side A of the record is a voicemail from her grandmother reminding Jess of how much she loves her, “Don’t get tired of my calls, love.”
My Heart Is An Open Field is about the wavering feeling of laying everything out in the open where sometimes dormant memories bubble up to show their faces. It’s about picking at your own knots and scabs and eventually joining yourself in an honest and present form. This album is filled with nuance– breaths of saxophone and flute, and touches of cello, piano, and pedal steel are hung on the sturdy folk songs of Shoman, whose vibrato and range cuts through these dreams like a loved one’s voice.
The current lineup of Tenci includes Chicago musicians she met playing some of her earliest shows. Curt Oren plays saxophone, flute, and guitar. Isabel Reidy (of Izzy True) plays bass, and Joseph Farago (of Joey Nebulous) plays drums. They’ve added a depth and playfulness to the songs that have made them even bigger and full of life.
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