Mark Tennyson recently released his EP Boy Untitled, which is a five part musical and visual epic that has an additional creative companion work. This EP connects with a collection of poetry titled, A Wander’s Love Letter to the Universe. The five songs on the album connect with the five parts of the poetry book, which creates a beautifully vivid world for the reader and listener. There is a sixth song on the EP, but it is a live version of an earlier song in the list. While the poetry is non-linear the works it contains and the music it connects to were all inspired by a period of transition and growth in Tennyson’s life. From marriage to the loss of his father, he found himself growing and changing a great deal, which led him to find his creative impetus for this project.
As some who reads tremendously I want to begin with a discussion of the poetry book that is part of the Boy Untitled experience. This illustrated work is connected to 30 days that took place over the first month of the 30th year of his life. Each brief poem examines his thoughts and emotions as they came to him during that period, which lends to the non-linear story telling that unfolds. The works are divided into five sections and each poem is numbered, with a total of 50 poems being present in the work. Each poem is also matched with an illustration that is remarkably vibrant. We follow a wanderer on his journey across a varied environment, including a beautifully detailed set of ocean scenes where this character swims with stingrays and a mermaid like being. The emotions are palpable in his storytelling and while short they provide an insight into the changes someone experiences as they experience major life changes.
The music of Boy Entitled begins with the ethereal sounding Easy, which flows like the water presented in the poems it is connected to. Spark has a more pop like tone and could be considered a sort of warrior’s anthem as the wanderer continues his journey. Sacrifice, Skin, and Out continue to grow the story with beautiful lyrics and backing vocals that match and turn each song into a lyrical experience for the mind. Tennyson’s voice is smooth and strong and reminds me a bit of Josh Groban in his tone. I could listen to this EP on repeat and found that with the poetry it created a wonderfully immersive experience. You can listen to Boy Untitled and read A Wander’s Love Letter to the Universe today.