Jessica Bailiff

Jessica Bailiff sent kranky a tape of some songs she had been working on in 1997.  We were taken with the combination of fragile vocal melodies and clouded guitar fuzz.  Jessica Bailiff had met Low in 1994, contributed some photography to the band and started trading tapes with Alan Sparhawk when her first involvement in bands were unproductive. In early 1998 Jessica Bailiff went to Duluth to record her debut album with Sparhawk.  The results became the Even in Silence CD.

Colin McComb wrote about the album in Outburn magazine:

    "Words over used in music reviews; 'haunting', 'evocative', 'beautiful', and 'powerful'.  Words that fit Even In Silence perfectly: 'haunting', 'evocative', 'beautiful', and 'powerful.' ... The album is gentle, delicate even, with occasional harshness contrasting and complementing the whole."

A second recording session in Duluth followed fairly quickly and Hour of the Trace was released in the fall of 1999.  Far from a repeat of the debut album, it featured a twenty minute long instrumental track called "How Our Perception of Distance is Changed With Each Passing Hour".  Laced with feedback and crunchy guitars, Hour of the Trace marked Jessica Bailiff as far more than the sum of her influences or collaborators.   The Wire noted that Hour of the Trace "has a rare, dislocated air: drums that softly beat to nowhere, guitars hovering in suspension."

There were some shows with a band Jessica Bailiff put together and appearances on singles and compilations.   The third, self-titled album was recorded at home in Toledo, OH with some help from Jesse Edwards and Noel Keese.  There is a more direct and intimate feel to the recording, some of the layers of guitar have been stripped back, piano has been added to direct the melodies of some songs and an instrument called the violin-uke takes the point in directing some songs.

As Sean Hammond noted in Fake Jazz;

    "Pushing her boundaries into start soundcraft, Jessica Bailiff is at the same time a confident stride ahead, and a hesitant foray into dark balladry and odd experimentation with instruments.  The result is great, hinting at a whole new world of possibilities for Jessica."

Following a European tour and an outing on the west coast, Jessica Bailiff devoted much of 2003 to completing her long distance collaboration with David Pearce in clear horizon.  And although clear horizon is very much an ongoing concern (with face-to-face recording sessions taking place between Bailiff and Pearce), Jessica Bailiff continues to write and record her own music.

kranky titles available
Feels Like Home
Jessica Bailiff
Hour of the Trace
Even in Silence

see also
Clear Horizon - Clear Horizon

external links
Jessica Bailiff -