‘Jessica’ tells a nostalgic story of growing up, with all of its pleasures, pains and confusions. It captures a longing for a simpler time, when you were still trying to figure out who you might be, and anything was possible.
It was co-written with my friend Will Gardner in the Summer of last year. Will co-wrote ‘Soho’ with me and has produced the new album.
It was our first session making music together and I was not in the mood to make anything sad after the shitshow of 2020. I remember I kept saying things like: ‘Let’s make something that’s like… JOY!’
Inspired by Efterklang and Sigur Ros, we began with a rhythm on the violin, distorted it, added a tinkling piano riff, soaring clarinet lines, then layers of stamps, claps and paper scrunches. (We had a lot of fun running around Will’s flat trying to find things we could hit and scrunch and scrape for our percussive sounds.)
While cycling home through Victoria Park, East London, I listened back to what we’d made. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the joyful, uplifting feeling of the music reminded me of being 17, hanging out with my best mate, watching River Phoenix movies and drinking stolen wine. The lyrics were almost done by the time I’d crossed the river back to South London.
Jessica, do you remember
Staying up late on the weekend watching Stand by Me?
Tastes like coal, the red wine you stole
From your father, mixed with water
Makes the movie funny…
I can’t WAIT for you to hear it. It’s proper JOY. And we all need some of that.