Jess Locke has today announced her new album Universe will be released on Friday 20th October viaPool House Records / Remote Control Records.
To celebrate, the title track 'Universe' was premiered via triple j's Good Nights overnight and Jess has shared the accompanying video, which you can watch via the image below. "The song is about trying to connect with reality, " says Jess, "with the physical environment and with people, literally and emotionally...In order to have some kind of relationship with the world, we have to remain separate from it. Sometimes that's a lonely feeling, but the flip side of that idea is that by truly connecting with something it would be destroyed in the process. So some of the violent sounding lyrics are actually a kind of metaphor about that - this conflicting desire to be whole entities while wanting to connect with other people to the point of our own obliteration."
I'll break your skin and put my heart into your chest
I'll break my own and fall in love with all this mess
I'll break your skin and put my hands around your bones
I'll break my own
The heat, the sound
They tell me we are in relation
The 'Universe' video was made by friends of Jess, Marnie Vaughn (Bare Pictures) and Mim Montgomery at Monster House, an artist run studio space in Marrickville. Half stop motion animation and half video, it shows Jess singing to the viewer through an old window as its panes are gradually covered by Mim's beautiful artwork. "The video touches on that theme of connection and separation," Jess offers, "whilst also being colourful and kind of upbeat."
Indeed, 'Universe' and previously released single 'Better/Bitter' perfectly encapsulate Jess' ability to match dreamy guitar pop with a lyricism cut with stark commentary. It's a sound of unabashed candidness that has developed through the long time Jess has performed in unconventional spaces: water parks, cemeteries, roundabouts, bookshops and back porches. So too has new album Universe become a summation of years of writing: "I feel like all of my recordings have been me trying to catch up with myself...document my songs so I can start fresh and write new ones. But I never seem to fully catch up."
Nonetheless, Universe represents for Jess Locke a step forward, and it's our turn to meet her there. With a few years playing and then recording with her full band under her belt, Universe emerged consisting of both brand new and older previously released home-recordings, now re-written. It was a process that pushed Jess musically further than her previous releases: "the album was very much about exploring the sound of things, and capturing an atmosphere, more than any particular concepts. There are definitely themes that pop up, but really, the ideas are quite broad, maybe that's why I decided to call it 'Universe'..."
Having toured in support of Paul Dempsey, Tigers Jaw (USA), Into It. Over It. (USA) and Julia Jacklin,Jess Locke has already won crowds over with her live shows. More recently, Jess and her band shared the stage with The Smith Street Band on their national tour. Now label-mates under Pool House Records, it's a stage being shared in more ways than one, with Universe to take to it soon.
Pre-order Jess Locke - Universe via https://jesslocke.lnk.to/universealbum
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