by Jen Rose Yokel
All you need is a quick peek at your preferred streaming service to notice the abundance of new music. Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s worth the time, right? Well, we’re here to help! Welcome to Getting to Know You, where we highlight a new or buzz-worthy artist we think you should know. In this edition, we’re also uncovering five songs to get you on your way to becoming a fan.
For the past several years, singer, songwriter, and producer Jess Ray has been quietly making her mark with independently-minded “friendly folk” that’s so much more than a girl with a guitar. You’ll hear indie pop textures blended with thoughtful songwriting about hope and joy, struggles and spirituality. To celebrate the release of her new album PARALLELS + MERIDIANS, we’ve put together a quick playlist to help you get to know Jess Ray…
PARALLELS + MERIDIANS finds Jess Ray making her best music, with songs of spiritual depth and wisdom. “Gallows” is a rousing call to hope in the midst of despair, knowing the hardest times are not the end of the story. (This full band video may leave you wanting to catch one of her upcoming live shows!)
“You and I”
Though many songs are spiritually focused, the currency of human relationships is found in this new batch of songs, especially for the newlywed Ray. Here’s a live performance video of one of her most popular new songs, a lovely meditation on the mysterious depths of love.
While lovingly crafted arrangements are a highlight of her music, Ray’s songs feel right at home with just an acoustic guitar. It’s a perfect treatment for “Humble Heart,” sung here in a single take video against the stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountain National Park.
“Come to My Senses”
If raw, acoustic folk is more your style, take a listen to Ray’s second album Pull the Stars from the Sky. Recorded in an old mill with just a guitar and a microphone, this collection puts the songwriting at the center, as heard in the album’s opening track “Come to My Senses.”
Finally, here’s a throwback to Ray’s early work. Her 2015 debut Sentimental Creatures was a true DIY effort, featuring her playing everything from guitar to trumpet. This video highlights her skills as she builds the song on a simple home setup, and the song itself offers gentle encouragement to everyone who’s ever felt a little lost and needed a reminder of how loved we are.
To learn more about Jess Ray and purchase her music, visit www.jessraymusic.com.