Jessica’s Brother review – Americana with great Brit grit
British-based Americana music acts aren’t necessarily 10 a penny, but those who think only American musicians can grasp the roots nettle (so to speak) are in for a surprise when it comes to London-based Jessica’s Brother.
Flicking through the back pages of various bands and musicians (you’ll hear facets of Richard Thompson, Neil Young, Jason Molina, Silver Jews, among others), the trio reference alt-country without being derivative.
You can tell there’s no blatant worship by the way the tunes roll out one after the other, akin to a pile of logs falling out the back of a lorry, as songs such as Getting Obscene, One of the Guys, Humdinger, Overnight Horror, and Cold White & Blue Day gain momentum as they roughly tumble.
If you’re looking for alt-country with svelte and sweet pop swirls, head over to Kacey Musgraves. What we have instead are workable rough edges via vocals (main songwriter, Tom Charleston), drums (Jonny Helm), bass (Charlie Higgs), guitars (Paul Rains) and violin (Dan Mayfield).
Charleston’s song topics range from hurtful masculinity to gender equality. All told, downbeat music with traces of ragged glory.