This morning, I was in the mood for new music so I put on Jessie Ware’s new album, Tough Love, on Spotify as I started doing my makeup on the train. The very first song I tapped on, Say You Love Me, left me so shaken that I needed a long moment to sit still and let the raw, unexpected flood of emotions wash over me. It has been a long time since a song has moved me to this extent, so although I have never posted about music before, I feel compelled to share this song with you. If the clouds were giant speakers, I would blast this song from the sky right now. No joke. It’s that important (at least to me).
I first heard of Jessie through the buzz around her song Wildest Moments on her debut album Devotion. I recognized and appreciated her sophisticated and subdued sound, but to be honest nothing on it truly hooked me in. After giving her music another chance, I will say that Jessie is the type of artist that grows on you. The soft and honest beauty that ripples through her songs does not scream for your attention. Instead, it reaches through you like the roots of a wise and quiet tree when you allow yourself to truly open up and listen to what it has to say.
I have listened to Say You Love Me probably 50 times on repeat throughout the work day today, and it still has not lost its power. Even as I pulled into my garage just now, I felt my eyes mist up as the song ended. Out of curiosity I looked up the music video when I got home, and holy crap, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a video more stunning, more haunting, more real. There are no gimmicks. No scantily clad backup dancers. No intricate effects. It’s just a barefaced, barefooted woman in a simple black dress sitting on rocks, unapologetically telling her story. In an age where technology allows us to visually create anything, I really appreciate the simplicity and purity of allowing a person’s lips, eyes, face do all of the talking. I may be going way too deep here, but in Jessie’s understated expressions, you can really see the complexity of her emotion, the essence of her soul. The video reminds me of Janelle Monae’s Cold War and Adele’s Hometown Glory, both of which take the same minimal approach. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jessie Ware is going to keep gaining prominence in the music world. We can never have enough strong, beautiful women touching lives with their voices and their stories.