Most of Jessica Winter’s childhood was spent alone in a hospital, alienated from other children and the usual growing-up experiences. As a result, she delved inward, cultivating a fantastic imagination and a strong creative drive.
Her Bandcamp bio states her influences as, “80s, trap, indie, chanteuse and unadulterated pop…” Winter’s voice is gorgeous, high and flexible, full of a trained vocalist’s effortless power. It’s a pleasure to hear her sing, not just for the clear, keening tonality of her voice, but for the way she flexes up and down the octaves with apparent ease and imbues lyrics with as much drama as a thespian. Her voice is an instrument she’s spent a lot of time mastering.
Winter’s physical presence matches her music: she appears to be equal parts dark glamour and otherworldly, ethereal sprite. A cascade of inky black hair frames her pale, fey, pointed face and her icy blue eyes are trimmed with feathery lashes. She looks quizzical, alert, and whip-smart. There’s a little bit of Bowie about her, and a lot of originality.
Besides her burgeoning career as a solo artist, Winter is one half of the band PREGOBLIN, alongside partner Alex Sebley (a former member and occasional lyricist for the original band of South London troublemakers, Fat White Family.)
Her first album, “Sad Music,” was released in May of this year. It features five tracks, among them the sensational “Play,” and the title track, “Sad Music.” Winter’s lyrics are a tonic for a life spent in and out of a continuous serious of lockdowns and quarantines. Uplifting and reassuring with a solemn nod to the feelings inherent with coming of age in a society on the verge of a breakdown.
“I’m feeling famous/I’m feeling international,” Winter sings on “Play.” “I’ve got my money on my body/A miracle/I’m everything I ever needed growing up/I’m a fuckup/And I’m ok.”
It’s what all of us need to hear. And hopefully, someday, we’ll listen to it on the radio.