Known for penning indie guitar-pop tracks that are at times subtle and full of melancholy, at times delivered with an acerbic tongue, but always steeped heavily in narrative, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Jess Locke shares Dead and Gone, the third single off her forthcoming album Don’t Ask Yourself Why out Friday 26 March 2021 via Dot Dash Recordings.
To celebrate the new single, Jess Locke announces an 8-date Victorian tour, performing to audiences in Melbourne, Ballarat, Kyneton, Castlemaine, Beechworth and Warrnambool, kicking off Saturday 30 January – tickets on sale now here.
As premiered on triple j’s Home & Hosed, Dead and Gone “is a catharsis, a shedding of the old and an embrace of what’s to come.” explains Locke. “Singing it feels like vomiting up my sadness and regret and finding a moment of peace. People probably think that all singers always love singing, but that’s not true for me. Sometimes it feels like work and it takes a lot of energy. But I enjoy singing this song. I like the way it feels in my throat and my body. To me, this song isn’t just about moving on and healing, it is that in itself. I wish I could say that about more songs, but I can say it about this one. One of my favourite moments on the record is at the end of this song, when the humble little folk tune flies off into the sky in a looping, weaving, transcendent celebration of sounds. It’s a metamorphosis in real time.”
On the accompanying video Locke continues “I saw these time lapse videos online of plants moving and bending with the sunlight and I just thought that was really beautiful – those incremental changes that can so easily go unnoticed but are also so important. I suppose the song is fundamentally about growth, so it felt like a good visual metaphor to use for the video.”
Dead and Gone follows on from last year’s album tasters; first single Fool – a simple and raw track, seeking to partner dirty grunge guitars, a fuzzy lead, gritty vocals and a punchy rhythm section – followed by the beautifully contrasting second track Destroy Everything. Both were received to wide acclaim with airplay across Australia and beyond including radio additions at Double J, FBi Radio, 2SER, RTR, & SYN, plus spins on triple j, KEXP & more.
Don’t Ask Yourself Why, Jess Locke’s third album, is twelve tracks steeped in the Melbourne songwriter’s trademark style – raw and honest storytelling, with a tendency for melancholy and at times poetic inclinations. The album traverses themes of human behaviour, our egos and self-reflection. On Don’t Ask Yourself Why, Locke invites contemplation. “I mean the phrase ironically, because really, I do want you to ask why” explains Locke.
Locke and bandmates James Morris and Chris Rawsthorne, worked with producer Rob Muinos (Saskwatch, Julia Jacklin), to record the album in a tiny studio in the back of a guitar shop in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, before it was mastered by John Davis at Metropolis in the UK (Lana Del Ray, The Killers, Gorillaz).
“For this record I was a lot more open in my writing process than in the past in terms of genre. I tried not to write any particular kind of song and instead just see what kind of style the song wanted to be. I found it to be an extremely productive way to write. I definitely came up with some pretty weird, and just bad, stuff that didn’t make it onto the record, but it’s the reason all of the songs that did make it are so stylistically diverse.” Locke says of the album.
Don’t Ask Yourself Why follows on from 2018’s 7” My Body Is An Ecosystem / Nothing At All and Locke’s acclaimed 2017 LP Universe which debuted at #18 on the AIR Independent Label Album Chart, landed triple j Feature Album, was nominated for the Australian Music Prize and was #20 in Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2017.
Jess Locke – Don’t Ask Yourself Why is available to pre-order / pre-save via http://jesslocke.lnk.to/dontaskyourselfwhy