Premiere: Jess Kallen Shares New Video for “Oolong” | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, July 21st, 2024  

Premiere: Jess Kallen Shares New Video for “Oolong”

Debut Album Exotherm Out Now via New Professor Music

Jun 21, 2023 Photography by Adrian Vega Albela Osorio Bookmark and Share

Today, LA-based indie singer/songwriter Jess Kallen has shared their debut album Exotherm, out now via New Professor Music. Kallen has played support for a variety of other rising indie artists, including playing on records from Rosie Tucker and touring with Alex Lahey, and Temme Scott, but they recently have been branching off on their own, crafting a folk rock sound carried by their virtuosic guitar work and ruminative lyricism. These ruminations explore contrasting themes of cynicism and anger, warmth and hope, reflecting Kallen’s feelings brought on by the solitude of the pandemic and coming out as trans and non-binary.

Today, accompanying the release of the full record, Kallen is also sharing a new video for one of the record’s highlights, “Oolong,” premiering with Under the Radar.

“Oolong” finds Kallen turning inward, tracing their own path of personal growth amidst soothing guitar strums, echoing effects, and gentle percussion. The results are sparse and spacious, but Kallen’s guitar work unfurls beautifully, giving the track a warm, empathetic glow. Meanwhile, their lyrics explore narratives of conflict and tension, with Kallen learning to let go of past pain: “I was taught the upper hand is when your weary arms stay crossed / It’s my daily stand to leave another night turned and tossed / And there’s a heat that burns me like a fire / When I’m half asleep and half a liar / Stuck in a crossword, stubborn and expired.”

Kallen says of the song and video, “I’m proud of the way ‘Oolong’ has helped me understand my own stubbornness, and hold it with humility and tenderness. A couple years on, a little conflict doesn’t seem to upend my life like it used to—so I have to believe that I’ve done some growing up since writing this song.”

Check out the song and video below. Exotherm is out everywhere today via New Professor Music.


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