Title - 'Such a Long Way'
Artist - Jess Jocoy
Nashville-based singer/songwriter Jess Jocoy is Americana through and through. With a crystalline veracity in her uniquely authentic songs, Jess constructs eloquent narratives that drift between the poetic and the conversational.
Having grown up south of Seattle, hitting every karaoke night and singing competition her parents would drive her to, Jess Jocoy kept her eye ever on the prize: Nashville. “I’d had this dream that I was going to move to Nashville and be a country singer like Miranda Lambert or Faith Hill, and get a record deal, and sell out stadiums,” she says.
With a twang in her voice, an edge to her sound, and a fire in her belly, Jess might just do it, especially more so now as she has just released (April 10th, 2020) her quite stunning debut album, Such a Long Way.
Having brought out her New Heart/Old Soul EP in 2018 ("My EP was a collection of songs that really meant something only to me; I consider them songs I had to get off my chest”), here on her new 11-track full-length debut, showcases a young songwriter finding her voice and staking her claim.
1. 'Existential Crossroads'
2. 'The Ballad of Two Lovers'
3. 'Somebody Somewhere'
4. 'Love Her Wild'
5. 'Castles Made of Sand'
6. 'She Won't Be Sad Anymore'
8. 'Long Way Home'
9. 'Aching to Feel Alive'
11. 'Hope (Such a Long Way)'
This quite brilliant, cultured beyond her years, new Americana artist opens her album (which was recorded in just 3 days in May, 2019 at Skinny Elephant Recording in East Nashville with co-producer and engineer Dylan Alldredge and co-producer Mike Rinne) with the rootsy lo-fi 'Existential Crossroads' and then puts money in the meter to turn the electric up on the foot-tappin' 'The Ballad of Two Lovers,' backing that up with the earthy hipsway tones of 'Somebody Somewhere.'
We then get treated to her aching balladeer work within 'Love Her Wild' which is seamlessly backed by more of her lo-fi Americana essence on the father-son stand-off 'Castles Made of Sand.'
Then comes one of my own personal favorites here, the free flowing, harmonious refrains found within 'She Won't Be Sad Anymore,' which is then followed by the uplifting guitar rocker 'Hallelujah.'
An acoustic guitar comes to the fore once again on the drum-led 'Long Way Home' and backed with the yearning of 'Aching to Feel Alive,' highlights perfectly Jess' already-literate, young songwriter voice.
Gentle guitar picking combined with Jess' mid-tempo vocals next bring us another stand out highlight in the form of 'Numb,' and then her tender, openly honest testament found within the soft guitar ballad 'Hope (Such a Long Way)' brings the album to a close.
As Jess herself has said, "Such A Long Way is an album that speaks to the journey: I know I've come so far in the last couple of years, but there is still such a long way to go. I choose to find hope in that and look forward to the days to come."
Simply put, in an Americana music community brimming with talent, Such a Long Way is an impressive effort for someone who only just a couple years ago committed to pursuing music full-time, after a lifetime of dreaming that dream.
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