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Jessica Dives Deep Into Delicate, Introspective Beauty on ‘With Reverie’

Written and recorded against the backdrop of Sydney’s lockdowns, With Reverie is Jessica at her resonant best.

Image of Jessica

Darren Cross*

Over a year on from the release of her debut album The Space Between, Jessica has returned with another stellar effort, sharing the stunning With Reverie today.

Having served as half of Jep and Dep with partner and bandmate Darren Cross for some time, Jessica’s music has become a staple of any self-respecting music-lover’s listening for many years now. With the release of The Space Between last year, she let her talents evolve even further, crafting an exceptional album that dealt with themes of loss, memory, sorry, and above all, death.

A hazy and emotive release, The Space Between undeniably served as a powerful debut for Jessica, but when you’ve started with an album as mesmerising as that, where do you go next? Well, now Jessica has given us the answer, emerging from the daydream to return with second album, With Reverie.

A more minimalist record than her first effort, With Reverie sees Jessica arming herself with piano and vocals solely, with the former instrument one she learnt briefly as a child, before abandoning it due to her teacher’s “disciplinary” approach.

Written and recorded during Sydney’s extensive lockdown with Cross, With Reverie feels like a voyeuristic insight into Jessica’s soul, with the tracks – which were predominantly recorded live save for a few later harmonies – almost feeling like a response to the year that has been; borne of solitude, yet still maintaining the intimate creative touch that one needs to survive.

Opening with the resonant “This Is a Siren in New Skin”, With Reverie quickly unfolds into something truly beautiful. While its solitary piano-and-vocal combination might evoke imagery of a musician tucked away in the back corner of a dark café, Jessica and her music undoubtedly deserve to be centre stage – not just listened to as background music, but to be lived with via active listening and total reflection.

Tracks such as “Free Doom” and “There Is so Much We Can No Longer Chase” provide this sort of insight into the artist’s mind, serving as powerful introspective journeys to be taken alongside the gentler trips into daydream that are also felt on the record.

Following the sort of experiences many of us have seen within the last 18 months and counting, With Reverie is the sort of record to listen to as we take stock of what we’ve been through. It’s the soundtrack to introspection, the musical pairing to time spent on hold, and most importantly, the artistic companion to rediscovering peace, understanding, and confidence.

Jessica’s With Reverie is out now as a Bandcamp exclusive.