Jessica Lea Mayfield is a young singing sensation from Ohio. At only 19, and armed with a voice that has drawn comparisons that range from Mazzy Starr & Lucinda Williams to Neko Case, Mayfield has even caught the eye of several contemporaries. She has recently toured with The Avett Brothers, Lucero, and The Black Keys, with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys being so impressed that not only did he have Mayfield do some backup vocals on their last album, but he also took the controls for her debut, producing the LP.
Upon the first few listens do yourself a favor and forget the comparisons, Mayfield undoubtedly has a unique sound, a style that begs to be genre bending and all her own. Her vocal delivery is equal parts sultry and edgy, while at the same time sounding down home and earthy with her slow southern drawl. Musically the disc weaves pieces of indie-folk, blues and country sounds around her stories of heartbreak and loss, while somehow giving it all an optimistic vibe. From the dark and brooding opener "Kiss Me Again", Mayfield lures you in with her gut wrenching approach. Songs like "I Can't Lie To You Love" with it's slow haunting guitar and the soft simple acoustic number "Call Me" display Mayfield's sparse arrangements which showcase the emotion in her music, almost feeling the torture and lament of the lost love that Mayfield sings of. "The One That I Love Best" is the fullest arrangement on the album, complete with hammond B3 organ, while the track "Bible Days" could be the albums standout, while also showing off Mayfield's strong songwriting prowess.
Overall the album shows a maturity and depth far beyond her years, let alone for a debut, and lends the opinion that she is someone we'll be hearing a lot more from in years to come.
Jessica Lea Mayfield on Mspace.