Jess Williamson

Native State (Brutal Honest)

SXSW 2014 Records

Jess Williamson

Native State (Brutal Honest)

The seven songs on Native State, Austin folkie Jess Williamson's debut, arise from a period of transition. Leaving New York and headed back to her hometown, she carries a banjo and gravel-etched guitar to back her unadorned, itchy voice, which bobs and weaves through the plucks. She floats among subdermal thumps on "Field" and happily invokes shivers on "Medicine Wheel." She's a folkie, a bit hippie, but don't hold that against her. This compositional cache is its own quiet microuniverse, with fertile ground and wooden walls. I like the way she says, "And I can't be enough, when we're not in love, but I'm picturing your mother" ("Blood Song"). Not exactly a scarcity of men and women with guitars these days, but good songs are good songs. (8pm, Parish Underground)

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