I met Jessica (aka Jae) two years ago. Camaraderie limited had organized a concert in someone’s apartment, one of Jessica’s first concerts in France. I didn’t really know what to expect from her, a girl half-hiding under her pink cap.
She arrived solo, Jana Hunter-like, electric guitar and mini amp in hand.
I think what it’s called is love at first sight, taking you by surprise even if we’d repeated “this girl, this voice, you’ll see” twenty times over.
This girl, this voice, like something from a past era, with the airs and intonations of the turn of the last century, and being no further than a metre from the musicians, this incredible tone hits you straight in the face.
That look, that voice, though, were so unlikely.
I left the apartment with some CDs and the firm intention to film her. It took a while to do, though. A year.
A year, enough time for Jessica to evolve and to surround herself with Anat the Israeli and the Dutch Vijam. A well-stocked trio.
We brought them to an apartment. These harmonies would probably have been too delicate for the street. The girls were ready, smartly dressed, a little nervous about the idea of being filmed so closely.
The session carried itself. I think that this was one of the rare times we have filmed so many songs, without cutting, in such a short period. It was so easy, so natural for them that we decided to leave the comfort of the apartment and confront the life of the courtyard, the curious onlookers. They sang in every corner, played with the street’s noise, before finally finding, around a fountain, their harmony as a trio.
It was in September 2010, during (I think) the last few days of spring. Everything was soft, the music, the weather. It took a crazy neighbor, “exasperated by the racket” because “there are people working” to bring us back down to earth. The “racket”! Judge for yourself.
Jae’s album, Balls and Kittens, Draughts and Strangling Rain, is available!