Another week and another new music act for me to write about and bring to your attention. This week, it’s singer/songwriter, Jess McAllister.
Hailing from Plymouth, Jess has been playing music and honing her craft for a good few years now, starting out on the pub folk scene in her hometown before writing with a reggae band while she was at university in Exeter. After she graduated she decided to focus fully on her own solo career taking her love of modern folk music and creating her own take on that.
Lyrical influences for her music mainly come from the birth of her son, Alfred, as parenthood has given her a deeper understanding of humans and our hearts, something she constantly finds inspiration to write about. Starting out playing small show in and around Devon saw her experiment with her style retaining her wonderful vocals and free-spirited sound but mixing it up with allowing things to flow naturally onstage with plenty of energy put with the acoustic sounds which has captivated many an audience gaining her hoards of fans.
Her debut EP ‘Painted Faces’ was released in October last year and has seen McAllister gain even more momentum with critics from radio to magazine praising her sound. John Govier of BBC Radio Devon has this to say; “Heartfelt, emotional lyrics and progressive melodies make you feel Jess is not just singing the songs, she’s living them.” While Keep The Wolf magazine spoke about the effects of her music on you; “This singer songwriter creates literary allusions due to leave you in wondrous state!”
Songs such as the one above from her debut sees beautiful piano’s set against the wondrous sounds of violins and cellos. The fragility to her vocals really portrays any and all the emotion to be found within her lyrical content. With her main influences and roots set in folk music, she has grown to include other styles that have made her sound all the richer. Making use of the more raw acoustic sounds focuses completely on the delicate melodies and letting the vocal harmonies really stand out.
Having just finished a tour around the UK with The Emerald Armada, Jess is excited and ready to get back out on the road again and you won’t have to wait long to see her as she will be playing 4 shows in February.
Thursday 13th February: Gig at Bbar, Plymouth
Monday 17th February: Guesting at a Songsmith Night at Mr Wolfs, Bristol
Tuesday 18th February: Guest spot at Open Mic at the Abbey, Kentish Town, London
Wednesday 19th February: Gig at The Dublin Castle, Camden
Listen to Jess’ debut EP ‘Painted Faces’ below: