Upper Reality


Texas Platters

Frisco-raised alt-R&B vocalist/producer (and UT student) Jessica Bathea's latest output as Upper Reality captures a polymath deep in discovery mode. "An exploration into inadequacy," Silver offers courage by aurally illuminating her fears. Topically and tonally similar to like-minded artists Solange, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and SZA, she tackles the existential duality of blackness and womanhood, direct and clear-eyed on "Your Way (Black Woman)," floating a dignified spoken word: "They want us as symbols, but don't want our truth." On "Second Place," Bathea's rich contralto swims in warm, low-lying synths and 808 bass decay. The excellent "Why I Still Make Music" addresses her fears best, as she raps in double time, "I'm in a hurry, to speak my mind, and go home early." The disc's true revelation is Bathea as a producer, respectfully possessing the spirit of her brave, self-facing influences.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Upper Reality
Texas Platters
Upper Reality
Holy Mountain Wata (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, Oct. 26, 2018

Texas Platters
Upper Reality
Upper Reality (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, Dec. 1, 2017

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Bright Light Social Hour
Jude Vol. 1 (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 8, 2019

Texas Platters
Charlie Faye & the Fayettes
The Whole Shebang (Record Review)

Libby Webster, Feb. 8, 2019

More by Kahron Spearman
Organ Great James Polk Works Wonders Outside the Limelight
Organ Great James Polk Works Wonders Outside the Limelight
We speak with Austin’s esteemed multi-instrumentalist and former arranger for Ray Charles

Jan. 18, 2019

Sun Ra’s Cosmic Jazz Epic <I>Space Is the Place</I> Touches Down
Sun Ra’s Cosmic Jazz Epic Space Is the Place Touches Down

Jan. 11, 2019


Upper Reality

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle