Reveals video for “See You In A Dream”
Taken from forthcoming album Heart Song
Due out on 4 November via Brutal Honest
Watch video for “See You In A Dream” (below)
“A voice in the vicinity of Cat Power or Karen Dalton, intimate and husky, as if lit by candlelight.” Mojo 4*s
“Traditional in texture, freeform in structure and elemental in emotional heft, Texan singer-songwriter Jess Williamson’s stark brand of DIY Americana has a piercing conviction that transcends any sense of self-conscious genre tourism.” Uncut
“A piercing, insightful collection of songs that incorporates the arid, sparse landscape of the Texas desert she calls home and creates a beautiful unresolved tension as she fights becoming too comfortable in it.” Stereogum
With the release of her second album Heart Song just around the corner (out on 4th Nov via Brutal Honest), Jess Williamson shares her new video for “See You In A Dream“. The video was directed by Daniel Hill and was premiered over at Clash, who said: “In turns stark and musically lush, hugely imaginative and yet entirely direct.”
Jess explains more about the video:
“We shot the video for See You in a Dream mostly on VHS, with the idea that the VHS footage is like a dream sequence. My good friend Daniel Hill made the video, and we drew inspiration from an old Roky Erickson video. I mainly let him take the lead because I really like his work. We envisioned the video feeling surreal but with some humor. My only request was I wanted to dance. We shot in a bar and a bedroom, borrowing from the lyrics in the song, and on an air mattress on the water.”
Jess Williamson’s Heart Song is a brave record. It explores the strength in vulnerability, the power in silence and empty space. The recordings bristle with energy and confidence while maintaining the intense intimacy Williamson is known for. Like the visceral desert landscape that inspires her, she knows when to let her vocals drift across the song, light like a tumbleweed, and when to, like the fiercest of Texas storms, unleash thunder and lightning with her band.
A few years back, Jess Williamson returned home to her native Texas to reconsider everything and rethink the direction of her life. It was that about-face that gave her the security and solitude, the inspiration, needed to create 2014’s highly acclaimed debut album, Native State.
But that was two years ago.
Williamson’s second album, Heart Song, questions the structures of support inherent in the comforts of home and showcases the rare kind of artistry that is the hardest to achieve after early success: change.
The opening song, “Say It”, eases the listener into a groove before the song cracks open and floods the landscape with squall and noise and thunder; announcing that Heart Song is not the same album as it’s predecessor, that this work is not only the next logical step in Williamson’s evolution, it is also a leap forward for her as an artist.
On the album’s centrepiece and title track Williamson wonders aloud, “Will I grow into my body?” but no one listening to her music, her poetry, will doubt her growth.
Is freedom really nothing left to lose?
Is freedom something that I have?
Something that I have, with you?
You’ve got the phases of the moon to blame
But I am a slave to a part of my heart
Nameless and untamed,
The seventh and final song, “Devil’s Girl,” closes out the album with a step back, just close vocals and quiet guitar, and we are reminded again of the essence of what makes Williamson such a phenomenal artist: her ability to tap into the universal. “Yesterday I was on the phone with a woman with my mother’s name/ Offering to meet me halfway between here and St. Louis /And I saw again the intimacy that comes between/ Strangers with stakes in the same crisis”. The song is a meditation and a restorative close to an extraordinary album.
Heart Song was recorded direct to tape in Austin, TX by Erik Wofford (The Black Angels, Bill Callahan) at Cacophany Studios and by the band in Jess’s house. It was mixed by Larry Crane (Elliott Smith, Sleater-Kinney, Cat Power) at Jackpot Recording in Portland, OR. The album is out on 4 November on Williamson’s own imprint, Brutal Honest, and is distributed worldwide via Kartel.
Heart Song Tracklist:
1. “Say It”
2. “White Bed”
3. “Heart Song”
4. “Snake Song”
5. “See You In A Dream”
6. “Last Word”
7. “Devil’s Girl”