A superb four-song taster for Jess Jocoy’s next album.
Early in 2020, Jess Jocoy was on a roll. Her debut album ‘Such A Long Way’ was garnering some superb reviews and Nashville radio station WSM (home of the Grand Ole Opry), had made Jocoy their ‘Artist Of The Week’ and she’s even appeared on national television performing ‘Easy’ a track off the album on an episode of NBC’s “Songland” – what could possibly go wrong? The simple answer is that Covid 19 arrived and like every artist (and non-artist too), Jocoy’s world came to a crashing halt. But after absorbing the shock, she got on with it and making the best of a bad world, went into Nashville’s The Cabin Studio with engineer Brandon Bell (The Highwomen, Infamous Stringdusters etc.) and produced a delightful four-song EP ‘Brighter Eyes’.
Opening with the title track, which is a shimmering, melancholic “big sky” kind of production utilising pedal steel (from CJ Colondrea) and the harmonica playing of the legendary Mickey Raphael to underscore Jocoy’s plaintive vocals. This is followed by ‘Mansion On A Hill’ which is a love song from a husband’s point of view; as Jocoy says: “Just because you’re a woman, you don’t have to sing about love only from a woman’s perspective”. The third track is ‘Constellations’ a bright and breezy track that lifts the mood of the record. The closing song is ‘Winter’ with its atmospheric and haunting pedal steel supported by some excellent, electric guitar (Jon Cavendish who also plays melodica and piano on the record) and a wonderful sonic landscape that folds itself into the cosmos at the end of the track.
What stands out on the four tracks is Jocoy’s crystal clear, diamond cut voice which has echoes of some of the great country voices of the past fifty years or so – it’s no wonder that WSM made her their ‘Artist Of The Week’ – a much-deserved accolade from a singer raised near Seattle but now steeped in the country sounds of Nashville TN. Jess Jocoy is definitely an artist worth watching.