Tess may be a thousand of kilometers away from home but the universal music of language has given her plenty of grounding in the land of the long white cloud ”

— Moutain Scene- Queenstown

Tess' deep soulful voice will send shivers down your spine”

— Golden Bay Weekly

Who is Tess


The music of Franco-American singer-songwriter Tess Liautaud can not be easily defined. It hangs in the balance of her voice, warm like honey; it carries a depth of raw emotion, delivered with melodic grace and country soul. 
Her songs are easy listening, in that Jackson Browne, dreaming of Laurel Canyon, Americana sort of way, so it would make some kind of sense that she’s found a home on the east side of Ōtautahi, among the folk singers and the rock'n'rollers. 

Together with her band (Adam Hattaway, Frankie Daly, Elmore Jones and Michael Kime, Jessie Shanks) Liautaud creates a sound steeped in classic Wilco 'esque' guitar twang, good old honky tonk piano and big organ washes. This is music that will grow roots in your heart and lift you up, the way it is supposed to. 

Tess cut her teeth in the Paris music scene for the better part of a decade, honing her live performances and endearing herself to the hearts of audiences and fellow musicians alike. She has toured in Ireland and places beyond and eventually curiosity led her to Aotearoa in 2019. Burgeoning friendships and collaborations swayed her to stay and now two albums and four years deep she has become an endeared part of our musical landscape.
As well as leading her own band Tess sings and plays with Adam Hattaway and The Haunters, The Eastern and The Sweet Sweet Nothings. 

Liautaud recorded her debut, self-titled album in Kurow at Sublime Studios in 2021. A collection of songs that are an ode to change, reflection, nature, saying goodbye, and the grief that follows. 
''This journey is a long one, as all journeys turn out to be, you never really arrive, but along the way, a lot is bound to change. And change makes me want to write'' 

“It is warm and giving, open and true, devoid of pretension, gentle and full of heart, It sounds beautiful and everything is in its right place . A special balm for jolting times.'' 
- Adam McGrath 

And now Tess has a sophomore album in the pipeline. Recorded at Loho Studios in Addington, Ōtautahi, and produced by Adam Hattaway and Elmore Jones these recordings mark an expansion in her songwriting and a move toward a bigger band sound. This album is set to be released in October of 2024. 

Tess returned to Paris in June last year to reconnect with her roots and to bring the songs written during her time in Aotearoa homeward. Her plan was to see out the summer and autumn in the northern hemisphere, traveling and performing in France and further afield, before making the journey back down under to rejoin her band for a new season and the release of her new album.

Promo photos

photos by © Esther Riess, Brislee Adams, Ray Tiddy

"Stay (a)shore", sung on the shore of Golden bay beach, 2020