Like many other musicians, Jessi Robertson spent 2020 working on new material. During this time she released the outstanding singles “Lonewolf” and “Losing Streak”. Both continued to showcase her superb lyrical talents and captivating vocals.
Now she has big plans to release many of the songs completed during the previous year. First to be set loose onto 2021 is “Fresh Way to Disappear”. She says “I wrote Fresh Way to Disappear early in February. It was before COVID-19 had become a global pandemic. I likely would not have used masks as a metaphor if I had known what was to come, but I didn’t want to go back and change the song later. For better or worse, it is a part of the song now”.
She continues “When I was thinking about a project to work on in the fall, I kept hearing this song in my head. There are a lot of themes that continue to resonate as the pandemic wears on: sleeplessness, repetition, anxiety, isolation. From the beginning that I wanted this to be more than an acoustic song. I wanted to capture something different at the end. I needed the build-up of a fuller sound to do that. For me, the ending is an acknowledgement that sometimes things are not good and I cannot fix them. There is a freedom and a kind of relief in acknowledging that”.
“Fresh Way to Disappear” feels stripped back and grounded. Maybe it is due to Robertson recording and mixing the song at home. Also, playing all the instruments herself and even building the drum loop from scratch. She did get a little help from Omer Leibovitz, who mastered the track.
It begins with a gentle guitar which has an inviting warmth to it. Soon, Robertsons lets her storytelling qualities commence with “I woke up this morning with a warning in my gut / I woke with an old bruise and a novel I wish I’d left shut”. She has always had an incredible way with words as her previous releases can testify.
She paints the scene with words, which for some have a relatable quality to it. With this release, she expresses feelings of being a little lost in life, not knowing what to do. These are reflected perfectly with the lines “I never trust my instincts, now my motives are suspect too / I swallow the anxiety, pretend I know exactly what to do”. Musically, it is all stripped back with no tricks or need for additional layers. Doing so gives the song a more grounded feel and adds so much more to its emotional tone.
However, as always, the standout quality of this and many of her previous releases is her voice. It flows so effortlessly and has a charm that makes her storytelling so captivating. When Robertson sings, it’s hard not to stop and listen. Her honest and emotive tone is something special. A great example of this is during the chorus. She does not change the songs flow, but its delivery says more than just her words.
‘Fresh Way to Disappear’ is yet another captivating song by Jessi Robertson which her voice steals the show
Overall, “Fresh Way to Disappear” is yet another impressive release by Jessi Robertson. However, it leaves us wanting more. Fingers crossed there is more to come and if so, expect more captivating storytelling from this impressive songstress.