James Uden looks at the beautifully made Jess Morgan vinyl in the run up to the start of her UK Tour.
Having seen the wonderfully talented singer/songwriter Jess Morgan perform her stripped back, storytelling folk at Union Chapel as part of the GIRLSGIRLSGIRLS music and arts fifth anniversary celebrations last November, we were naturally eager to hear more when the true-to-DIY artist’s latest project came to our attention.
Not content with just writing music and performing on tour, Jess has taken her inspiring talents to the next level and decided to create something truly special ahead of Record Store Day this year in the form of a handmade vinyl release. Based in her Norwich home, Jess has crafted in true DIY form a limited run of her song Still In Fashion ahead of its inclusion on her upcoming album, Edison Gloriette. Finding the right recipe amongst catalyst and silicone mixes, paper, demo tape, duct tape and foil to create the perfect, workable texture (*Top tip* - Jess finally settled on a thick foil tape - generally used for insulation in plumbing), it’s so inspiring and refreshing to have a musician go beyond only discussing their songwriting and recording processes, as Jess talks passionately about what it took to bring her latest track to life in the form of a vinyl record:
“I spent almost a year - on days in-between touring and recording - experimenting with different ways to make the records special. In the early stages, I found colour mixing - within the resin really quite difficult. I experimented with dye, ink and paint to add a colour injection.” Furthermore, Jess has designed the artwork for this 7” vinyl, with a disc cut from the sleeve and trapped in the centre of each record. Incredibly fortunate enough to get our hands on a copy, the immediate crackles as the needle pressed against the vinyl emphasised the handmade value of this sweet and sincere track. It’s not long until Jess’ soulful voice hovers gently over her delicate picks of guitar and she guides you off into her blissful folk haven.
While the handling of a record on vinyl generally makes you appreciate its value more, knowing that Jess has put absolutely everything into this project and done it all herself is truly inspirational and long may her DIY ethos see her spotlighted amongst young female British singers and songwriters.
Edison Gloriette is released on April 22nd. Jess’ UK Tour starts this Thursday and you can see her full lists of tour dates here.