Cosmic Wink (Mexican Summer)
Reviewed by Rachel Rascoe, Fri., May 25, 2018
On her third full-length and label debut, Jess Williamson wears her heart on her sleeve, and lets it bleed. Nine tracks drip, bubble, and bristle in love, shaken up with an emotionally invasive immediacy. The cardiac prodding begins with a strident opening demand: "Tell me everything you know about consciousness." The song, "I See the White," unveils a fiery pop dimension to the artist's mysterious, shadowed take on indie-folk. Alongside a new relationship with album co-producer Shane Renfro (RF Shannon), "White Bird" specifies her transformative relocation from Austin to L.A., ending in a twangy, guitar-fueled flurry. "Wild Rain" shudders in stark, instrumental simplicity, while "Mama Proud" plays with off-kilter, haunting vocal echo. Under Williamson's adept, prismatic verse, the oft-tread subject of love isn't overdone, but rather revived.