Jessica Says: Do With Me What You Will

- After a long hiatus, Melbourne noir-pop artist Jessica Says is back with her second record Do With Me What U Will. Sweet at times, but full of hidden salty surprises, the ten track record sees Says delve into the societally constructed ideas of girlhood and naivety, and put a retro pop spin on them.

Opening with a sickly sweet '60’s girl group vibe, Xanax Baby quickly sets the tone for the record, with her mellifluous vocals sliding right into the midst of a “sha-la-la” backing. Look So Good, Feel So Bad incorporates an impressive string arrangement with a sharp, biting chorus, kicking sand, or well, sherbet, in your face. Single Rock Candy is sultrier than other offerings on the album, and Says’ voice croons over a minimalistic musical arrangement.

The record is full of hidden surprises – Queen Of The Night wouldn’t be out of place in the club scene, with a vintage electro-pop beat that’s reminiscent of the early 2000’s pop bangers. Oliver has a softness to it that is amplified by the acoustic piano melodies and pizzicato strings. Rosemary closes off the record: a piano driven track that delivers a subtle but undeniable punch with underlying strings that come to full fruition in the outro.

Her lyrical content is almost paradoxical – the lyrics in some tracks are so blunt and literal that they feel metaphorical in a sense: like this very real and relatable tale of girlhood, mental illness and desire, with just a touch of feminist fire, is stretching suggestively toward greater archetypes and truths. At any rate it splices its themes together with the perfect combination of naughty and nice: never straying from the middle line between too bland or too controversial. Sometimes the timbre of her voice leaves a little to be desired in terms of “traditional singing”, but I feel that adds to the overall aesthetic of her musical package – the disjointed crooning has an authentic feel to it that draws her right in close to your heart.

Imagine reading Lolita in a park, drinking a pink lemonade, and wearing a yellow sundress and dirty, scuffed Doc Martens. That’s kinda like what listening to Do With Me What U Will is like. Whilst Jessica Says definitely has a sense of novelty to her, the music she is delivering is a spot on recollection of my pre-teen thoughts, straight out of my diary.

- Olivia Shoesmith.

Album Details

Album Title: Do With Me What You Will
Artist: Jessica Says
Record Label: (Chapter)