Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Jess Jocoy’s Online Residency, Pt 2

August 25, 2020

In Part Two of IC’s online residency from the Seattle-to-Nashville folk artist Jess Jocoy, we immerse ourselves in “The Ballad of Two Lovers” from her recently-released Such a Long Way

Written from a tag line that would not leave the artist alone, Jocoy’s track owns the throwback vibe of 1960s New York or San Francisco Bay folk-rock. These were hangouts for the cultured, anti-establishment hipsters supporting art-minded music that changed the industry’s sound for years to come. Music moved people to feel as if they could change the world. The scene that found Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell connects to talents like Jess Jocoy’s. The singer’s authentic vulnerability invites audiences to share an experience. Her lyrics cut straight to the soul. Combined with the artist’s vocal delivery, the words possess an unearthly, nuanced tone, with notes wrapping around the listener like tendrils of heat from a crackling fire on a cold winter’s night. 

Thinking about the heart of the song, Jocoy shared: “Whether they become comfortable or complacent, the fire dies down, but the memories of when love was new still serve as the coals underneath. It’s a song of resilience. Someone is willing to fight for the rekindling because they believe it’s worth fighting for. It’s melancholic, for sure, but also kind of beautiful.”

Haunting in its hopefulness, the stripped acoustic performance alludes to our shared experience with heartbreak. Jocoy is a songwriter whose imagery is sonically colored, each chord inviting us along for the journey. The beauty of “The Ballad of Two Lovers” is its ethereal, ghost-like quality; an essence of Joan Baez’s freedom-fighter flavored with Dolly Parton’s country angst. Jess Jocoy finds herself sharing the same contemporary space as women like Courtney Marie Andrews, whose authenticity defines their art. 

Jess will be back in two weeks on IC with the final installment of her online residency. You can catch Jocoy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube for more until then.–Lisa Whealy

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Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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