Album Review: JESSICA’s ‘With Reverie’ has a gorgeous ghostly presence filled with longing and loss.

The Breakdown

'With Reverie' is a graceful, stately album infused with melancholy and darkness: stark and beautiful.
Independent 8.8

With a delicate piano filigree dusting a series of gorgeously quiet and reflective songs, the new album from Sydney artist JESSICA has the elegance and enigma of an Eric Satie piece fronted by Dusty Springfield.

‘With Reverie’ is essentially a series of haunting vignettes deliciously encapsulated into (mostly) three minute interludes, filled with emotion and space. Jessica describes the album as being:

…an exploration into daydreams, thoughts, mind-trips and inspections. It turns inwards into the quieter moments and places of our psyche; to the memories and thoughts we have more peace, understanding and confidence around.

The sounds throughout the album are just JESSICA and her piano: naked, unadorned and yet so bright and burnished. Opening track ‘This Is A Siren In New Skin’ has a stately flow with celestial double tracked voices that hang like ghostly apparitions in the sky, evident also in ‘Echo’ where JESSICA’s vocals are ethereal and distant.

Each track flows seamlessly into each other – this album is essentially a whole movement rather than individual songs – and the sombre arctic piano provides a pillow for the vocal musings. JESSICA’s subtle and delicate melodies are filled with an indelible melancholic sparkle – at times, like in ‘There Is So Much We Can Longer Chase’, heartbreakingly beautiful and elegant.

At times there is a classicism and euphoria that recalls work by Sigur Ros – ‘Free Doom’ for example which has a circular motion that becomes hypnotising, while songs like ‘Living Is Easy’, ‘Horrozontal’ and ‘Mountains’ showcase JESSICA’s extraordinary vocals that range from a Dusty Springfield combination of power and delicacy to a Kate Bush range of expression.

‘We Can Never Go Back To Our Start’ has a dark Victorian gothicism about it with its dark thundering piano roll and the mournful lyrics like a white lace curling around the notes. Final track ‘Oh I See It’ leaves us with a glimpse of optimism and brightness as JESSICA’s gorgeous vocals shine out with an infinite delicacy, hanging in the skies.

‘With Reverie’ is a graceful, stately album infused with melancholy and darkness: stark and beautiful. You can get it though the link below (and in the next 24 hours, all revenue goes directly to the artist during Bandcamp Friday):

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