Thursday, 14 August 2008
Its isn't difficult to fall for Jessica Says. Having cut her teeth on stage as the cello player of choice for touring acts like Jens Lekman and Micah P. Hinson, Jessica Venables has put herself centre stage, a potential world-class indie-songstress in the making. As any red-blooded skinny indie nerd will tell you she has the full package. Ms Venables' own piano driven gothic-pop tunes casually straddle the universes inhabited by artists like Joanna Newsom, New Buffalo, Kate Bush and Tori Amos. The latter two offer the closest comparison to Jessica's voice, which mixes enough girly charm with worldly matter-of-factness, delivered live with her fringe-covered doe eyes wide, head slightly tilted down, the unblinking confidence and vulnerability rubbing electricity into the air. I saw her at the Empress on Wednesday and was mesmerized.
The songs themselves, as yet unreleased, offer defiant statements: "nothings gonna shake me now" on The Sleeping One Beside Me; and more heart breaking observations like "by the morning she'll be gone again" on His Mothers Ring. With only these two songs on her myspace its hard to get a wider view of her talents, although rumor is there might be a release coming out through Unstable Ape in October. But try to catch her live and be seduced. Jessica Says plays tonight supporting Dave Bazan (Pedro The Lion) at the NSC then Saturday at the Edinburgh Castle with another amazing Melbourne singer-songwriter Nathan Hollywood and indie champs The Ancients.