Jessica Lea Mayfield: “I Wanna Love You”

A lot of artists are working with Dan Auerbach these days, and for good reason. The Black Keys’ frontman has something of a Midas touch when it comes to capturing roots rock, favoring a quick-and-dirty approach to recording. Auerbach produced Jessica Lea Mayfield’s first two albums, but for her new album Make My Head Sing…, the Ohio native decided to go a different route. She teamed up with her bassist and husband Jesse Newport and spent nine months crafting the songs. Her first two albums were raw and acoustic, but Make My Head Sing… simmers with intensity.

Part of that fire comes from the album’s sludgy production, at times recalling Nirvana with a little country twang thrown in. Before the recording, Mayfield and Newport helped each other kick some drug habits. Consequently, Mayfield sounds freed from both her physical and creative past, even with the songs’ dark, swirling tones. She recently stopped by Studio 1A with her band to show off the change in sound, and today’s song of the day comes from that live session. “I Wanna Love You” nods its head to “Don’t Fear The Reaper” with a particularly distorted riff (but no cowbell, unfortunately). At the center of the storm, Mayfield sounds eerily calm, giving the song a ghostly menace that you just can’t shake.

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