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Jess Locke Gets Real About Life on ‘Uncomfortably Happy’

The Melbourne/Naarm songwriter’s resilient spirit shines in a melancholic and introspective new era exploring mortality

Jess Locke

Ian Laidlaw

Jess Locke is back with her first solo release in three years, offering a glimpse of her upcoming fourth album Real Life, set to drop on May 3.

After a hiatus following her 2021 album, Don’t Ask Yourself Why, the Melbourne/Naarm-based songwriter is diving into deep themes like mortality and revelation this time around.

The punchy lead single, “Uncomfortably Happy,” provides a candid take on life’s ups and downs, backed by a bright melody featuring fuzzy guitars and swelling synths. 

Locke, explaining the song’s theme, says, “It’s something I write about a lot, maybe because I am still trying to become comfortable with the idea that life is temporary and meaningless and that’s a good thing.”

The track comes with a charming DIY animated music video made by Locke herself, capturing her resignation and resilient spirit.

In Locke’s words, “Writing this record, I found myself thinking a lot about what it means to live when you know that one day you will die, not just individually, but as a species, as a planet.“So while it’s quite a heavy topic, a lot of the album is a process of returning to the present moment, realising that it’s the only thing that’s real and that the only purpose in a life that will one day end is to experience it, and that’s quite liberating on a personal level.

“Music is possibly one of the most effective tools for grounding yourself in the present and, in making this record, I found that, along with the darkness, I found moments of revelation – an escape from the fantasy of what life could be into the reality of what it is.”

On the live front, Locke will give a preview of the album at Melbourne’s Retreat Hotel on Friday, 23rd February, alongside artists Baby Velvet and Taylah Carroll. Tickets can be found here

Jess Locke’s “Uncomfortably Happy” is out now via via Dot Dash and Remote Control.