Of course it is our passion to support indie artists and Jessica Allossery’s story is one that we simply love. First let me say that I found Allossery’s music in the purest way but listening to Spotify’s discovery tools. When I heard her song “I’ll let you go” I HAD to know who the artist was. I loved the song within a minute, had a tweet out by the second play through, and an interview in process within 48 hours. Goodness I love the digital age. But Allossery’s story is one that brings inspiration to the readers of a site like this; she has taken on the task of being a singer songwriter with grace and beauty. She writes music to inspire and help people, all while making a life for herself. It’s wonderful.
Avoiding the traditional questions about her musical background (which she has answered elsewhere), I jumped right in with questions about how Allossery is able to do what she does. She explained that her career is “nine years in the making.” In the past five years she’s been able to be a full time musician, doing typical music work of writing songs and presenting them at house shows. But she has a really creative offering of “custom songwriting,” where she does commission-based songwriting for her many adoring fans. These are paid songwriting opportunities that create memories for her fans and their loved ones, while also giving her many songwriting challenges. The songs, at the end of all of this, end up comprising the bulk of her recent album release Open Sea.
But before I get into all the nitty gritty of her songs, I should say a bit about Allossery’s personality. Immediately she comes across as someone you want to know. Her charm is evident and her style is unique. As she writes, “gotta be true to myself,” her dog and camper, two of the key characters on her popular blog thelovelyindie.com are reflections of her personality. She is unapologetically interesting. She writes like you’re already her friend both on her blog and in her songs; that familiarity and accessibility is central to her identity and it means that a lot of people feel like she’s already a friend. Maybe she is.
Two of her more popular songs came from the custom song opportunities. The hit “I’ll let you go” is about a father about his daughter at her wedding. “Open Sea” was written for elderly parents for the song’s commission purchaser. It strikes me that Allossery has a real focus on “love,” but of the family more than the romantic type. Of course she can write romantic music, but her understanding and grasp of love is so much more than that. It’s a beautiful thing to observe as you listen through her discography.
I had to ask how she manages to make these amazing sonic creations. She explained that she sits down with the lyrics and guitar at the same time. She sits to practice a part and will fiddle around with an idea that sort of takes off. But she really tries to write to the vibe or the moment of the piece. So if she’s been told by a song commissioner to make a song about a particular topic in a particular style, that gives her the direction she needs to write the song. It’s a nice combination of the “workaday” musician along with the “try to catch one” wonder of a more whimsical songwriter.
One of my favorite questions to ask an artist is for them to dream. Dream about the future. Some find this a hard question to answer, but Allossery really showed her heart on this one. First, with glee, she said she’d like to play a dinner show for Ellen Degeneres. But then she went on to explain how she’d love to reach and inspire millions of people. She wants to help others “survive in music.” Then, in a note of inspiring vulnerability, she explained that she would like to build a team to help divide her load. She would like help with building a tour, designing a website, and helping with securing placements on television. As she continues to expand in those directions, including going on more house tours, she really wants to maintain the balance of recording new music and touring for her fans. Her heart for developing a “community around the healing aspects of music” comes through in the music itself as long as her dreams for the future.
IF you’re interested in learning more about Jessica Allossery, check out her blog at thelovelyindie.com and if you want to hear her music, you can find it at bandcamp. If you like acoustic singer songwriters with a heart-filled message and inspiring songs, you’d do well to check out her excellent tracks.