The debut LP from London trio Jessica’s Brother arrives courtesy of Fika (Tigercats, Allo Darlin’). The Dirty Three and Neil Young are the comparisons that most readily spring to mind with Jessica’s Brother. These ten tunes, rooted in folk techniques but not afraid to plug in, come with a liberal sprinkling of fiddle and the fine piercing tenor of singer/songwriter Tom Charleston.
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The Wave Pictures drummer is on this - they literally get where water won't. But the band is based around singer/guitarist Tom Charleston who leads the band through some pretty charming folk rock. The influences are fairly clear - Neil Young, Songs Ohia and yes the Wave Pictures. They have a loose ragged feel and on the opening three tracks it's the sort of gently played folk stuff that will be familiar to fans of Stanley Briunks et al. Charleston mixes it up a bit with the fingerpicked solo 'Dylan' but all it does is exemplify what I was already thinking is that Charleston is an assured if uncharismatic vocalist and lacks that bit of originality to perform solo. So it's like putting on an old slipper when the band rejoin him for the soft lilt of 'Humdinger' which whilst already lovely, benefits from some sweet female backing vocals to blend nicely with Charleston. I also like 'Overnight Horror' which taps into exactly the same feeling as Neil Young's 'Powderfinger'.
Getting there then. Jessica's Brother will do well in support to the Wave Pictures on their next tour. Their story-songs are perfect for their audience neither straying too far from the formula but bringing a bit of folky blues into the equation.
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