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Black Swan by JESA – Premiere

11 August 2022 | 12:28 pm | Mallory Arbour

'Black Swan' is out Friday, August 12 via her Bandcamp.

JESA

JESA (Image: Supplied)

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Northern Rivers songstress, JESA reveals Black Swan exclusively on Countrytown. A bold, blues-infused track with gritty undertones, JESA strikes a chord with her profound and deep lyrical offerings.

A track that echoes strength, Black Swan unpacks themes of mental health and breaks down the walls of stigma. It serves as a gentle reminder to reach out during struggles and the healing powers of music and art to change our emotional state.

JESA recalls, “I wrote Black Swan at a pivotal turning point in my life as I was coming to terms with having depression. It metaphorically describes mental illness as being a toxic relationship you want to break from.”

In the self-penned song, she metaphorically describes mental illness as being a toxic relationship you want to break from. The track features drums from the beloved Bobby Alu and ends with a free-flow jam by producer Billy Otto and JESA.

The track opens with intriguing vocals, smooth drumming, blues guitar, and soaring organ parts that decorate her pain as soulful and sweet. In the second half, a punchy bridge with powerful church-like vocal-stacks and arpeggiating bass lines bring a sense of hopefulness with the message “wearing all the weather, now I’m feeling better, dance with the pain, don’t let it stay”.

Black Swan’s first iteration was in 2017 at a time when JESA was studying poets like Rupi Kaur, W.H. Auden and Emily Dickinson and listening to Nai Palm, Amy Winehouse, and The Teskey Brothers. The track is a taste of what's to come from her EP expected later in the year.

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Taking the reins in her creative career, JESA is releasing the single on Friday, August 12 through her Bandcamp before it reaches streaming services in a move to spotlight the importance of paying artists for their work.

Balancing sweet, soulful, and gritty, JESA is a self-proclaimed "artivist" – a self-coined term that means her songs are written as a tool to comment on socio-political topics like climate change, mental health, feminism, and sexuality. Paired with soulful vocals, punchy guitar, and bold storytelling she stacks up to the likes of Lisa Mitchell, Phoebe Bridgers, and Nai Palm.

JESA has childhood memories of recording music as young as 12 in her neighbour's home studio where she first learnt a love of folk music. As a young adult, JESA has graced the stages of Bluesfest Byron Bay, Nimbins Roots Festival and DIY Festival Brisbane.

In 2020, JESA released her debut empowering indie pop single, You Before Me followed by a string of sold-out shows along the East Coast and opening slots for Kim Churchill.

Since then, she’s been working tirelessly on her first digital EP which will encompass everything poetic and chaotic. From church-like vocal harmonies to headbanging 90s grunge grooves, sunshine folk and psychedelia, each song acts as a time capsule from a different era of JESA. The personal collection of 5-songs will move the listener through the process of dealing with depression, anxiety and heartbreak then finding growth, optimism and empowerment.

Listen to Black Swan below!

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To keep up to date with JESA, follow her on Facebook here.