by trevor elkin
Emerging from the still gloom of January’s end, it’s fitting that Jessie Winslow’s debut EP ‘Bare’ reflects the array of emotions felt during a month that both promised hopeful new beginnings and then stole from us some people and things held dear.
A simple guitar backdrop, an occasional piano or twinkling glockenspiel play supporting roles to Winslow’s voice throughout, which lightly commands the attention of even the most hardened heart. Whether cheering and bright, as in opener ‘Summer of Feathers’ or forlorn and woeful in ‘Death’, Winslow’s uncommon vocal expression and sometimes clipped pace unleashes legions of tingling stomach butterflies. There’s a moment, for example at the start of ‘Blue’ which recalls the same gentle and sincere connection My Brightest Diamond makes with the listener; an outreaching hand to touch another’s heart.
The act of opening up your heart, however, carries with it risk of rejection – fear is the shadow of hope, after all. Embracing this reality is what gives ‘Bare’ depth and honesty, raising it above ordinary indie folk offerings. Winslow understands the ever-present doubt which holds us back from getting the love we yearn for, or worse, which we push away altogether: “I know that you’re smitten / But don’t get too close / Cause I’ve been telling secrets / To my grandmother’s ghost”. However, as if to restore the balance and optimism, ‘Hearts’ closes out with the gentle summer sound of lapping of waves and a tender reassurance that ‘healing our hearts is hard… but it helps when you’ve got a friend whose love knows no end’.
This has been, mostly, a pretty awful month. You deserve to spend some time with Jessie Winslow’s thoughtful and loving songs, below.
Buy ‘Bare’ on Bandcamp
Jessie Winslow is also on Facebook