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Jessamine was a four-piece psychedelic rock and drone rock band from Galion, Ohio, United States formed in 1992.Read More...
Like a few people, Kranky first became aware of Jessamine in 1994 when we got a hold of their debut, self-released seven inch single. Wrapped in silver paper and bearing the logo of the Silver Apple label, and an Alan Vega cover, the band was sending out signals to those willing to receive them. A second single followed and Kranky was able to sign the Seattle-based quartet.
To play wavering, keyboard heavy music in mid-90s Seattle was no small feat, Jessamine were swimming against a flannel tide. Guitarist Rex Ritter moved to the Pacific Northwest from Ohio (where he played in a band with his brother who contributed drums to some of the early Jessamine recordings) and met up with keyboardist Andy Brown and bassist/singer Dawn Smithson.
After signing on the dotted line and getting some recording equipment, the band recorded over the course of three months with the band rehearsing, taping and playing live shows to hammer down the material before finishing basic tracks in two days.
The self-titled Jessamine debut album came wrapped in translucent paper and received accolades in the press.
And as Dave Segal recognized "even though they peddle massive doses of distortion and flirt with chaos, these libertines of the effects box can also craft songs full of memorable hooks and melodies." Sub Pop asked Jessamine to record a single for their label, Drunken Fish asked them to contribute to the Harmony of the Spheres compilation alongside Flying Saucer Attack, Bardo Pond, Charalambides, and others. With the drum position secured by Michael Faeth, the band began touring the United States.
Jessamine recorded their second album, Long Arm of Coincidence in their home studio. Touring had made the band airtight, honing their melodic material as it fed their musical ambition. Kranky released the double LP/CD in 1996.
Jessamine began a nationwide tour with Bardo Pond, then pulled up stakes and moved from Seattle to Portland in late 1996. With more room for home recording equipment. A sixteen track recording set up came together. A number of singles came out (later collected on the band's own Histrionic label as the CD Another Fictionalized History) and the group collaborated with Sonic Boom's Spectrum band for a cover of the Silver Apples' A Pox on You. A massive live collaboration between Jessamine and Experimental Audio Research would later be released on Histrionic as well.
Then, in 1998, came the third album, Don't Stay Too Long. The band had tightened up on the extended interplay of previous recordings, concentrating on song structures.
At the point when so many musicians supposedly advancing the sound form were content to lean on the effects peddles, noodle away or dabble with breakbeats, Jessamine had crafted their best album, demonstrating how instrumental aptitude and sonic experimentation could be focused into songs. For better or for worse, the band quit in 1999 while they were on top. Dawn Smithson returned to college in Seattle and Michael Faeth moved to Davis, California while Rex Ritter and Andy Brown completed their new studio Magnetic Park and began putting together Fontanelle.
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- Secret - 10,305 plays
- Another Fictionalized History - 8,403 plays
- Ordinary Sleep - 7,848 plays
- Royal Jelly Eye Cream - 7,356 plays
- ...Or What You Mean - 8,703 plays
- Cellophane - 7,164 plays
- You Have Ugly Talents, Martha - 6,823 plays
- Inevitably - 6,588 plays
- One Trick Pony - 5,335 plays
- Lisboa - 5,165 plays