Exeter based Jess McAllister has been busy through lockdown, not only releasing a full-length album in the last year but also sharing a magnitude of excellent homemade videos (including an inspired take on Sugababes classic ‘Overload’) and performing live wherever and whenever possible. Owning your own narrative and voicing personal experience is a large focus in McAllister’s music, and new single ‘The Bushiest of Beards‘ is perfectly pitched as just that. But don’t take its whimsical frivolity at face value, this song has a serious message and is a deeply personal piece of expression for McAllister, as an anti-bullying anthem it wields weight with a wickedly upbeat dose of emotional cleansing.
Written and performed by McAllister, the single version of ‘The Bushiest of Beards’ comes with fun-packed visuals that sees the singer-songwriter playing dress up dancing around a makeshift video set and generally having the best time, exquisitely matching the free-spirited tone of the Feist-esque instrumentals and McAllister’s lyrical flexing that, here, has an air of This is the Kit about it. There is also an extended version of the track featured on the aforementioned 2020 album release, Courage/Fear (which is available now on Bandcamp).
In a press release about the new visuals, it’s stated that “the video is a self shot creation, filmed and edited by Jess at home; it is visually vibrant, filled with pastel shades and colourful performances. This is not the first time Jess has created a video with a strong feminist theme behind it, she released ‘I Am A Woman’ on International Women’s Day, a surreal video shot in super slow-motion where the balloon of insecurity and self-doubt is popped, only to reveal an explosion of colour and laughter.“
Now that’s enough from us, it’s time to indulge in the utterly epic glory of Jess McAllister’s vision and her wildly invigorating music. So, without further ado, here it is… Enjoy.
Jess McAllister’s debut album Courage/Fear is out now – available to Stream/Purchase here.