Jess Harp - "Jessy Baby Forever"
Released May 6th, 2022
When Jess Harp sings, one can’t help but listen. Savvily melding their choir boy chops, the folk songs of their home in Northwest Arkansas, and sonic nods to indie bands like Girls and Execution of All Things Rilo Kiley, Jess’ debut EP, Jessy Baby Forever, is a testament to the rapport between emo, country, and folk.
Born in Rogers, Arkansas and reared in Bentonville, Jess Harp first explored their distinctively angelic voice under the guidance of high school music programs and church choirs. It wasn’t until well into their 20s that Jess started teaching themselves guitar and writing songs, merging their traditional tonality with a variety of contemporary and classic pop styles: the intimacy of Chet Baker, the urgency of Angel Olsen, and the pop/emo ear of Chris Owens (of whom Jess Harp, in homage, has based their moniker after). After receiving encouragement from friends, Jess began playing open mics and pop up shows around town. Several years later, after being embraced as a darling of the Fayetteville DIY scene and forming a full band, Jess presents his first collection of recorded songs: Jessy Baby Forever.
Recorded live, mixed, and mastered at East Hall Recording Studio in Fayetteville, Arkansas, JESSY BABY FOREVER, is a genre-defying treat, blending Jess’ folky songwriting style with a rich, almost shoegaze-y backdrop. Featuring James Williams on lead guitar, Hayden Johnson on bass, and Dick Darden on drums, the full-band lifts Jess’ humble tunes to a more dramatic sonic platform, with crescendos and cavorting layers of electric guitar and crashing drums, all sweetened by Jess Harp’s distinctive, lonesome, yet hopeful bird-song voice.