Here are the basics, Jessica Lea Mayfield is a young lass (currently 21 years old) from Kent, Ohio. She got her big break when her bedroom recorded EP landed in the hands of Black Keys' Dan Auerbach. In turn he produced her debut LP in 2008, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt. That album was pretty much universally acclaimed across the board and picked up comparisons to Cat Power and Hope Sandoval/Mazzy Star. Now the not so basics, Jessica Lea Mayfield writes and sings some of the most heartbreakingly sad songs you will ever hear. Sung with a barren country vocal, her tales of love and loss cut deep.
Her latest album released earlier this year, Tell Me, is as equally praised as its predecessor. This venture finds Auerbach behind the boards again as Mayfield stretches her reach as a songwriter and performer. While not completely shedding her skin as a tortured soul, Mayfield does find a niche for a more pop friendly sound. A couple weeks ago she made her network television premier performing on David Letterman. From the clip below you can see how she has evolved her music from her alt-coutry roots while still keeping its sincerity.
Saturday night, 04.23.01, Jessica Lea Mayfield will stop in Austin to play the inside stage at Emo's, with Nathaniel Rateliff opening the show. Doors open at 9pm. Again, this is my pick of the month. I can't recommend Mayfield enough. She is without a doubt one of my most favorite new artists of the last couple years.