Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter Live on KCRW

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I remember watching in stunned silence when Jesse Sykes came to our studio in 2007. I couldn’t take my eyes off her, sitting in a chair, singing heavy folk songs.

Today’s session was totally different. It was a loud, rocking jam with lead guitarist co-founder Phil Wanscher stealing much of my attention. Phil faced Jesse the whole time and their communication as musicians was so great to watch.

They kicked off today’s session with “Come to Mary” and played only two songs in the first set, with extended jams at the end. As Jesse said in the interview, a record like their latest “Marble Son” requires a level of commitment from people since some songs top 8 minutes, much longer than the average attention span. She says the album reflects a time in her life when a number of monumental things happened to her and those around her – breakups, babies and more. Jesse’s music is always reflective. She summed it up perfectly when she said this: “To me, life is heavy. It’s the most beautiful thing in the world, but it’s not easy.”

She also talked about what it means to have her music described as “psychedelic”, saying it’s an evolving word that reflects an emotional landscape more than a musical genre or style. It’s “music that explores your internal world.”  Oh yes it is. And you can check it out here in our archives.

Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter on KCRW – Set List

Come to Mary

Pleasuring the Divine

Your Own Kind

Wooden Roses

Hushed by Devotion