Austin native, Jess Williamson has recently moved to Los Angeles, and Sunday night she took to the Bootleg stage to open for Loma and share the new light she’s found in our golden state.
Jess Williamson is an indie folk-rock artist who’s a breath of fresh air to see live. Although the “southern gothic” artist has quite a discography under her belt already, she lacks pretentiousness and ingenuity. Each tune unfolds carefully as she takes her time getting through her set; looking like she’s enjoying it nonetheless.
Williamson gracefully fronts the stage with a lax sort of confidence, singing her songs, new and old, with a quality that seems like maybe she had just written it minutes before going on stage. Obviously, that is certainly not the case. Williamon’s sophomore release Heart Song has not even turned two, yet she’s already churned out her third record Cosmic Wink. Cosmic Wink, due out May 11th, is a fitting name with her two single releases “I See the White” and “Mama Proud” both questioning our mortality and place in the universe. On paper, the themes read bleak, but Williamson crafts the songs with care and empathy, merely acting as a vessel for these ideas.
In earlier releases, the previously self-released artist seemed to be grouped more under the somewhat typical indie singer-songwriter genre. Upon joining Mexican Summer and moving to California, her music has naturally evolved rather than abruptly changed. She’s embraced the ever-present sunshine and the type of 60s guitar that dominates Southern California’s music to create something truly hypnotizing and authentic.
While watching Williamson it became increasingly clear to me that she could be on the same level as her contemporaries like Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, to name a few. But stop before you think this is just another Olsen copycat, Jess Williamson has a certain charm and a pure, genuine love for music that is hard to find in those carbon copies.
Do you want to feel happy and the dreading existential void all at once? Then keep an eye out for her record coming out on May 11!