These all seem to be Pop Explosion reviews. It's a pity I didn't have a blog back in October, I could have gotten them out of the way then, and with better recollection. Oh well.
This is one of the most beautifully packaged CDs I own. Handpainted on firm cardboard, inside and out, and even on the CD itself. Absolutely beautiful, just like the music contained within.
And who is the perpetrator of this wonder? A cute little thing named Jess Kussin. She opened for, of all people, Hilotrons, who seem to channel XTC, at the Pop Explosion. I always find these juxtapositions interesting.
Jess plays what I like to describe as Canadiana. Small-town influenced folk music with a distinct Canadian tinge. She can't stand much more than five feet, and trading between banjo and ukulele from song to song, feet dangling off the stool on which she sat, it was a purely beautiful and downright cute performance. Her vocals are heartfelt, are gorgeous. Andy Swan joined her on stage for part of her set, as he does for part of the EP, and though it did add something to the performance, I have to say I preferred her alone on the stage. The mood in the place might have influenced this, though. The bar was dead, with maybe 15 or 20 people watching. The world was silent and all there was was Jess.
The second of these tracks, both from her EP Big City Smile, features Andy Swan on vocals and guitar.
Jessie Kussin - Dodging Daggers
Jessie Kussin - Big City Smile