If you’re looking for a new tune to absolutely lose yourself in, set aside a few hours and make sure the repeat button is firmly switched on for when you hear Jess Johns’ ‘Mercy’.
Every once in a while, an artist comes along whose voice is so intoxicating and powerful that you just can’t turn away. For me, and I’m sure for many of you today, that artist is the great Jess Johns.
Delivering her debut single ‘Mercy’, Johns isn’t exactly a stranger to the Adelaide music scene. Launching her post-high school psych-pop outfit Kashaguava, the group disbanded in 2016, with Johns going on to join Ricky Albeck And The Belair Line Band, Dom And The Wizards, and even helped co-found the award-winning Dead Roo.
Now, armed with her solo material, and a band consisting of David Blumberg on bass, Ricky Albeck on guitar, Harry Freeman on drums, and Jess on vocals and guitar, Johns is in prime position to begin her climb to the top of the Aussie music scene.
While ‘Mercy’ serves a perfect example of the dreamy, indie-rock that local acts are pumping out, Johns delivers a sound so unlike anything you’ve ever heard before, citing newer acts such as Hand Habits, Angel Olsen, and Julia Jacklin as influences, while equally looking back on the likes of Dolly Parton, Simon & Garfunkel, and even Cruise FM.
Recorded by Tom Spall, mixed by Richard Bowers, and mastered by Mikey Young, ‘Mercy’ is a far-too short slice of essential indie-rock that not only leaves you feeling refreshed, but all the more hopeful for the future of the local rock scene, especially knowing that Jess Johns is in the driver’s seat.
With a handful of pre-COVID shows under her belt, Johns has been using the current off-season to get in the studio and record, while also signing with Adelaide’s own Swirl Records. Needless to say, good things are in the pipeline, and if you want proof of this, simply give ‘Mercy’ a spin below. You won’t regret it.