We last heard from Jessica Risker when she was out on the road in support of her album I See You Among The Stars. Today the psychedelic-folk artist returns with a new song called ‘The Waves’, and there’s a video too.
Lyrically, ‘The Waves’ feels like an address from the person inside of a storm, or a soul standing in the wake of a phenomenal natural force. The artist speaks to herself from her center. The walk along a ‘better path’ is described as being a lonely one, and yet Risker commits to doing things right, if alone. (all important battles are waged within the self) Perhaps solitude is better than subjugation. Certainly there is wisdom in reflection of the raging torrents. ‘These waves that tumble are my nature…’ The narrator measures herself against the highs and the lows, and discovers truth in the middle of it all. Actualization occurs when responsibility is owned.
The recognition of self as being part of a larger process shouldn’t be surprising for fans of the artist, and yet the song brings does bring surprise. Distinctly within the tone and timbre of previous releases ‘The Waves’ represents a nuanced departure from the familiar progressions of I See You Among The Stars. The melody climbs and cascades. Risker’s vocal work is pensive. Phrasing on electric keys makes light across the darker surfaces, so there are challenges too.
The video feels like autumn. A monochrome oscilloscope reveals the magic of the music, and extends lyrics with visual cues. Here, in the peaks and troughs there is harmony. Risker sits cross-legged with an acoustic guitar, a refracted city is experienced with split screens; fragments of memory and experience are offered. And whilst things sprawl and unravel around our perspective there is also intimacy at the center.
For all the passion and action of her subject matter Jessica Risker is an artist that discards the easiest, spoon-fed responses. Instead, she challenges herself and draws in on the beauty of a scene. Her responses to things are measured with a distinct grace, and with ‘The Waves’ she continues to reveal her authentic self.
‘The Waves’ is released via Western Vinyl. Check out the video, then scroll down for a purchase link.
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