For years now, Jessica Cassar’s voice has been one that has been the source of bliss and inspiration to many. Today, that voice takes centre stage by way of the release of her debut album.
Having begun her career as part of Jep and Dep with bandmate Darren Cross, the pair have spent a number of years on the scene, releasing two acclaimed albums in addition to touring internationally and supporting the likes of Jessica Pratt, Johnny Marr, Low, Mirel Wagner, and Aldous Harding.
In 2019, Jessica shared her first single, with “Has It Come To This” introducing her solo work to a wider audience. While it remained to be seen when more music would arrive, the unexpected arrival of a global pandemic provided her with more time to work on a full-length body of work.
Recorded with Cross at his Bernstein Studios on Gadigal land between March and August, the result is The Space Between, a haunting collection of songs which sees Jessica explore themes of loss, memory, sorry, and above all, death – a topic she has shared a preoccupation with after surviving a mass shooting at age seven.
Beginning with her previously-released single, Jessica quickly and effortlessly showcases her raw talent, armed with little more than an reverb-laden electric guitar and her stunning voice. This feeling of isolation and soul-baring beauty flows throughout the entirety of the album, as baroque pop orchestration helps to bring with it themes of beauty and escape.
With a voice that evokes stylistic comparisons to that of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser, or Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, Jessica uses her ethereal voice to create something not only unique, but versatile, with the otherworldly nature of her stunning vocals at times turning the record that feels wholly instrumental, before her poetic lyrics again come into focus and work their magic.
Despite being a lengthy record (in fact, only one of its eleven tracks runs less than four-and-a-half minutes), such is the talent of Jessica that every single second of the album feels as vital as the last, with the listener almost daring not to take a breath lest they miss the slightest vocal inflection that has the power to completely emotionally devastate.
With such a storied career already behind her, there was never a doubt that the debut album from Jessica would be one that is as accomplished as it is anticipated. However, The Space Between sees Jessica exceeding all expectations on her solo effort, creating something that will not just resonate long after it finishes, but for years to come.
Jessica’s The Space Between is out now as a Bandcamp exclusive. For 24 hours from 5pm on Friday, October 2nd, Bandcamp will be waiving their fees as part of their ongoing support for artists.