Who? Jess Morgan
A bit about: She might be new to you, and we’ll forgive you for that because she’s new to us too, but Jess Morgan is already well established and somewhat legendary in the folklore land of quaint country music. While many are currently riding a crest of Nashville-like country revival, banging on banjos and stomping feet, Jess Morgan‘s music focuses on the folk; her whispered stories the main instrumentation, with gentle piano or guitar playing second fiddle (not literally, that wouldn’t work…). Morgan is primarily a character-focussed storyteller, and an impeccably engaging one at that. Fortunately, she’s an incredible musician too.
What to say: “If you’re looking for country without the trimmings or folk that’s not trying to be old, look no further. Jess Morgan is one of the most un-obvious, contemporary DIY acts you’ll stumble across.”
The maths: Emmylou Harris + (Laura Marling x Billy Bragg)
The releases: So far Jess has released 4 albums, 4 EPs and, most recently, single Aston Expressway Kiss Me Quick, which is the sort of song you put on your headphones when walking alone and wanting to feel like you’re in your own gritty British love story.
Live: Subtle folk from one girl and her guitar might not be the obvious choice as an opener for 80s icons and Take On Me hitmakers a-ha, but Jess Morgan found herself warming up their crowd last month. With the Norwegian trio on an acoustic tour, Jess found herself on the huge stage of The o2 Arena – perhaps not her natural habitat – treating her tales to a crowd of thousands. With the lighting, like the production, minimal, the arena briefly became a small pub in the country or a folk festival by the coast, as Jess Morgan held the attention of those who’d come to see Norwegian poster boys rather than folk-poetry from a quintessential British artist.
See them yourself: Jess is heading to Norway later this month, before returning for some UK dates and a folk festival. Get the full details and your tickets from her website.