J. Graves Marathon LP

On my first pass through, I didn’t love or hate this. Jessa Graves sings in this style that’s, like, quiet-loud. She sort of whispers into a rise and shout and then lets it trail off at the end of each line. Even in some words her vocal volume wavers between a tipsy friend trying to tell you a secret and a sober one telling you it’s time to fucking go! But also she has this piercing sweetness and clarity to her voice with tons of power behind it. She also plays guitar in this band and I have to say, that opening riff on the B-side (bass as well) is real good. I’m pretty drawn to the song “Leap Year.” It’s more than the lyrics “Did you forget that all along / That I was just your ghost?” that make this song feel super haunted. And Graves is certainly a proficient writer. All these songs are quite wordy, but nothing feels extra or out of place. Engineered and mixed by Stan Wright of ARCTIC FLOWERS, which is pretty rad. To be candid, these songs didn’t grab me at first blush, but two or three spins through they’re starting to get stuck in my head. The cover art for this is an X-ray of her chest cavity and it came with a handwritten note saying she’s just getting started. I love this energy and what I’m hearing from this group.