Miss Tess blends country, jazz, blues and folk on the captivating “The Moon is an Ashtray,” the title track off her upcoming album due out Feb. 7. With a distinct old timey flair, the singer transports the listener to another time period with the throwback number, which Billboard premieres the video for on Monday (Jan. 13).
The five-minute accompaning video features Miss Tess and her band embodying a 1930s-era troupe in a series of vignettes. Directed by Tom Krueger, the clip was inspired by an old photograph.
“Things are not always what they seem,” Miss Tess tells Billboard. “Reality can be a harsh mistress when we find ourselves trapped in an idea of childlike romanticism that doesn’t quite measure up to our hopes and dreams.”
The singer says this is a metaphor she fell in love with and wanted to portray in the video for the song. She further explains that she wanted to incorporate a fake moon and vintage set into the video to relate to the aesthetics of the song.
“I had been inspired by an old picture I came across from what must have been a 1930s movie, where the women sitting on the moon looked pissed off. I loved that attitude captured as a juxtaposition against the classic romanticized ‘woman on moon’ image, and wanted to recreate that sentiment,” she explains. “Tom, who has directed music videos for folks like U2 and Stevie Wonder, really took the idea and ran with it, expanding the idea to involve a whole meta plot where an evil villain is luring in souls for his wonderland vignettes.
“I think it’s a really playful way to get the idea across that reality can be a harsh mistress when we find ourselves trapped in an idea of childlike romanticism that doesn’t quite measure up to our hopes and dreams, and things are not always what they seem.”
The song is featured on the Nashville transplant’s upcoming album, co-produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff) and Thomas Bryan Eaton, Miss Tess’ full-time bandmate and musical partner.
The video for “The Moon is an Ashtray” is below.