Just Rain is the second album from London three piece Jessica’s Brother, comprising songwriter Tom Charleston, The Wave Pictures’ Jonny Helm on drums and Charlie Higgs on bass. Stitching together a variety of influences, from crunching 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 afresh.

The disintegration of a long-term relationship, coinciding with a global fracturing, provided a catalyst for Just Rain. The songs explore a relentless collision of melancholy and resilience alongside themes of comedy, agency, and hope. The title track lays this out with an opening burst of slacker rock as Tom reflects back over a passage of time that feels like persistent unrelenting rain. Vacillating between despair and defiance, we uncover the strength to shrug it off as “just rain”; after all, as the track draws to its conclusion “losing sight can be relieving”. Interestingly, the lyric, “open up your heart, it can help to wear a mask”, was written before the pandemic had properly struck in the UK.

‘Finding Snowdrop’ is a spiritual rebirth gone wrong, influenced by the rambling poetry and hooks found in Yoni Wolf’s Why? and Bill Callahan. On 'Full Swing’ both the baritone of Tom’s delivery and lyrics conjure the darkness of the everyday: ”cut my own brakes, living in hiding of late” are reminiscent of The Handsome Family’s wonderful way of transposing the tradition of murder ballads and the bleakest tales to the modern. A more expansive and luxuriant sound runs through Just Rain, than the sparser Silver Jews / Jason Molina atmosphere of their 2018 debut, from the gutsy alt-rock of the title track to the off kilter pop of ‘Little One', reminiscent of Sparklehorse, a tale of young love and youthful exuberance.

Jessica’s Brother formed in 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. Their debut, eponymous, album released in 2018 was warmly received. Just Rain was produced and engineered by Shuta Shinoda (Hot Chip, Ghost Poet, Anna Meredith) at Hackney Road Studios during the summer of 2020.

Jessica's Brother - Just Rain - CD Released 26/11/21

£11.99Price
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