Jess Williamson Casts a Bewitching Country Rock Spell on 'Sorceress'
Published May 15, 2020On "Sorceress," the titular track of Jess Williamson's fourth album of the same name, she croons, "Yes, there's a little magic in my hat, but I'm no sorceress." Its lullaby-like atmosphere is about not running away from someone and accepting the limitations of human nature.
Yet, a sorceress is exactly what Williamson resembles: a warm and enchanting presence that casts a spell on listeners and beckons them toward her. Sorceress is a slow burn about the desire to be free, growing older, and a little bit of tarot sprinkled into the mix, all encased in a cinematic, rustic country flair.
Williamson longs to be anywhere else than where she is in the present as she sings about relying on herself on "Smoke" and fleeting youth on "As the Birds Are." It's a slow beginning to the record, but is nonetheless tone-setting and a precise look into Williamson's state of mind. The glamorous yet docile twangs and brassy horns in "Infinite Scroll" are nostalgic in both a heartwarming and heart-wrenching way.
Williamson's sound is classically fresh, her intimate vocals and poetry dancing along effortless acoustic ballads with a dash of '90s country influence, blooming on "Love's Not Hard to Find," a blissed-out love song that glows with simplicity, and "Rosaries at the Border", an emotional ode to those who have courageously left their home countries in hopes of a better life elsewhere.
It appears that Williamson is always fleeing from somewhere and yearns to live a life with no regrets with the time we have left. Sorceress is her personal but inspiring, magical journey to get to that point. (Mexican Summer)