Jessica’s Brother is the eponymous debut album from London trio Jessica’s Brother, comprised of songwriter Tom Charleston, Jonny Helm (drums, also of The Wave Pictures) and Charlie Higgs (bass, previously of Ramshackle Union Band). Channelling the spirit of the Brothers Grimm to create an otherworldly atmosphere, they weave their motley influences together making a rich and eclectic vision, with nods to Silver Jews, Jason Molina, Nick Cave, Richard Thompson and Neil Young. There are themes of joy, anger and silliness in a carefully crafted world with a colourful cast of characters.
The new single is "Humdinger" is a languid indie folk track, recalling their heroes, Silver Jews. As Charleston explains, it is: "perhaps the one song on the album where the narrator is at ease with himself and the world. Though there are moments where this tranquillity is nudged by outside tremors, so we know this moment is ephemeral."
Jessica's Brother formed in October 2016. Jonny and Charlie worked together in a framing business and had often talked about collaborating in a band together. Fate intervened when Jonny’s girlfriend Jessica introduced him to her brother Tom, and they found a songwriter in waiting. The trio clicked immediately and just nine months later they recorded the album with Laurie Sherman at The Booze Cube in Stoke Newington, with input from Darren Hayman. A few other friends joined them in the studio, including Dan Mayfield (Enderby’s Room), who added a dose of Bad Seeds/Dirty Three vibes on the violin and Paul Rains (Allo Darlin’/Tigercats) lent a hint of country twang on guitar and slide guitar.
Weaving a variety of influences from jangly indie-rock to gothic country and contemplative psych folk, Jessica’s Brother create the sound of a band coming together and getting caught up in the rush of starting something new and enjoyable. The instruments clamber over each other in a small room, with Helm’s distinctive drumming counterbalancing the gothic guitar thrums and wailing violin. Already lauded by the likes of The Guardian (for their first ever gig) and the Saatchi Magazine (for their first single), the scene is set for a bright future.