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MUSIC REVIEW: JESS BY THE LAKE – Under The Red Light Shine

| 6 August 2019 | Reply

Label: Svart Records

Release Date: June 7, 2019

Rating: 90%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Having dug the last release from Jess and The Ancient Ones’ last release, I had high hopes for front woman Jasmin Saarela’s solo debut, released under the moniker Jess By The Lake.  The eight track disc leans more into a rock vibe than the previous efforts that were a bit more moody and down tuned.  Disc opener and title track “Under The Red Light Shine” sets the pace for the disc with a big sound from the musical accompaniment and vocals that swirl blues and rock together in the mix.  The vibe of the track sticks with you from open to close and helps establish the path of the disc.  “Freezing Burn” is unlike anything I expected from this disc.  The piano work is beautiful and nicely offsets the vocals and the guitars different tone and texture.  This is a favorite on the disc.  This one feels and sounds as if it were ripped from the Florence + The Machine catalog.  “Halo (Ghosts In The Flames)” brings to mind other releases from the singers band, with a more melancholy sound and vibe woven through the track.  The song maintains the Florence feel that showed itself on “Freezing Burn,” but with a different guitar sound that heads straight at you.  “Legacy Crown” unfolds slowly and kicks off with a very ethereal sound that grows with the addition of guitar parts and some percussion / drumming that gives the musical accompaniment some depth.  The song never takes off like some of the other rockers on the disc, but it helps anchor the sound.

“The Wait” is another cool track that benefits from a mainstream rock vibe and sound.  The vocals are earthy and thick without being overpowering.  The chorus is fun and adds a different flavor to the track and lends an almost pop sensibility to the song and collection.  This song rings with me every time I hear it and provides a killer one-two punch with “Freezing Burn.”  “Nightmare” is a great track that comes at you with a chugging riff and killer vocals.  This song is one of my favorites and grows on me a little more with each play.  The sound is different than other tracks on this disc, but it fits right in sonically.  The keyboards between vocal pieces is cool and helps bridge and blend the two different ‘Jess’ sounds.  “My Hands” has a great sound and groove that starts this one off and the song only gets better as it moves along.  The vocals are a cool smoldering blues sound that takes on a rock twist as the verse winds through the guitar-driven accompaniment.  The vocals are some of the best on the disc and give me a fonder appreciation for Saarela’s voice.  Be sure to catch the slightly psychedelic guitar work on the bridge.  Disc closer “Interstellar” helps tie the disc together with some common guitar sounds from the disc, solid keyboards, steady bottom end from the rhythm section and the vocals that have traipsed across the disc.  Jasmin just may be my new favorite female vocalist.  Check this disc out and be sure to chase down the ‘Jess’ catalog… I know I am!

Tracklisting: Under The Red Light Shine – Freezing Burn – The Wait – Halo (Ghosts In The Flames) – Nightmare – Legacy Crown – My Hands – Interstellar

Jess By The Lake – Line-Up: Jasmin Saarela (vocals, guitar, Wurlitzer) – Marianne Heikkinen (drums) – Heikki Leppäjärvi (bass) – Aapo Kauppinen (guitar) – Ethel Seppälä (keyboards)




Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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