Having achieved big things at a young age with Hare Squead, Jessy Rose recently made a brave start to his solo career with the single ‘Set Free’. An autobiographical account of his rebirth as a solo artist, it was greeted with a fresh wave of attention from the likes of Clash, The Line of Best Fit and Dork as well as an addition to Spotify’s New Music Friday.
Jessy Rose today shares much more about his story by releasing his long-awaited debut EP ‘Are You Home?’. After the mood-setting introduction ‘When You’re Better’, the subsequent tracks reveal an artist at breaking point – first struggling with the breakdown of a relationship in ‘On My Own’, and then coming to terms with leaving Hare Squead and then starting afresh with ‘Set Free’.
The EP’s closing track and new single ‘Selah’ takes on a serene, almost religious quality as it brings the narrative to a close. Influenced by Irish tradition, in particular the longing and melancholia of ‘Spancil Hill, ‘Selah’ strikes a choral, hymnal tone that strikes a blissful tone for the listener as well as a redemptive moment for the artist. Jessy has confronted and struggled with tough times but is now a stronger character for the experience. As the EP’s final lyrics so poetically stated, “I could feel an essence pure / And I was carried out of the storm.”
Those words are grounded in reality, but there’s also a fantastical element to the EP’s language too. As Jessy explains, “This EP is very lyrically orientated because most of it was written based on my lucid dreams. I kept a dream journal and wrote about my dreams quite a lot. It was more poetic at the start, then I picked up my guitar and turned them into songs naturally. These songs are very close to my heart and I hope you connect to them.”
While the EP’s stories are tumultuous, Jessy sounds more confident than ever before. His voice brims with gospel and soul, which producer Ben Esser perfectly complemented with an organic, often live-feeling production. The project was two years in the making as Jessy wrote 200 songs for potential inclusion, ultimating choosing the five that made the strongest, most coherent artistic statement. The textured alt R&B of ‘Set Free’ and ‘On My Own’ contrast with the raw ‘When You’re Better’ and ‘Judas’, both of which Jessy and Ben constructed around the original phone-recorded demos.
Listen to ‘Are You Home?’ – BELOW:
Jessy’s return was recently boosted with the news that he’ll play a headline show at Whelan’s in Dublin on September 25th. Tickets are now available here.
Jessy Rose was just 18 when he first came to attention as the frontman of Hare Squead. They soon became Ireland’s hottest emerging band, amassing 50 million streams, performing at festivals all over Europe and collaborating with GoldLink. But in 2018, he stepped away from the spotlight to focus on a solo project. His return was kickstarted in 2020 when he featured on Ben Esser’s ‘Daily’, a track which has since exceeded a million streams. His low-key introduction continued with his debut solo track ‘Bloom’ before he dropped ‘Last Week’, a collab with KhakiKids and Nafets.