Release Date: April 22, 2019
Jessie is the first full album of the Victoria-based band, Fox Glove.
“Jessie” immediately grabs your attention with a strong open as the first few bars is a trio of female harmonies to a hard electronic guitar strum before the song proper kicks in. What follows is a mix of songs with complementary genres that create a wonderfully dynamic flow to the album.
After the folk-rock of the opening “Jessie”, the next track, “Universe Be Damned”, is a dark hymnal with an electronic drum beat punctuated with a playful xylophone. Following this is the track “Dear John” which has the sloping beat and romantic piano riff of a classic torch song. Afterward is “The Devi’s Grin” which uses a classic guitar to create a dark fairy tale, starting with its opening of an eerie a Capella rendition of “Ring around the Rosie”.
After this track, the songs “Never’s Better than Late” and “Breath in the Wind” have an almost classic country sound – but each with their own little quirks. For example, “Never’s Better Than Late” has a truly beautiful interlude verse about the death of a loved one by disease. I was particularly moved by the line that after a woman’s death, her lover can only “[lay] down in the tomb where his universe lays.” Finally, the song “In the Morning” is a simple lullaby to put the listener into a restful sleep after such a journey.
This variety of genres and lyrics in Jessie all feed into the central subject of the album – the loss of someone whose extraordinary presence clearly touched the band (presumably with the namesake that is the title of the album). I would highly recommend this album, but particularly if you want an album to share in the passing of a life with – both in grief and in celebration.
As the album says of Jessie, even though she is gone, “You’re everyone that you have known, you are the seeds that you have sown, you are the family that you have grown.” A universal sentiment for anyone who has experienced loss.
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.