Free and legal MP3: Jessica Lea Mayfield (Haunting and resolute)

From the opening riff, a casual but purposeful series of descending notes on a fuzzed-out guitar, “Sorry is Gone” has a haunting presence, from its mantra-like chorus to the engrossing, unresolved melodies of the verse.

Jessica Lea Mayfield

“Sorry Is Gone” – Jessica Lea Mayfield

Powerhouse song from the talented Nashville-based singer/songwriter, and merely one track on a fierce new album. From the opening riff, a casual but purposeful series of descending notes on a fuzzed-out guitar, “Sorry is Gone” has a haunting presence, from its mantra-like chorus to the engrossing, unresolved melodies of the verse. Gliding by in a subtle, velvety cloak of reverb, the song wraps up in a concise 3:21, and if Mayfield didn’t consciously select the launch-like run time, let’s call it serendipity.

It’s painful to review the circumstances of both this song and album—Mayfield’s art here is rooted in a frightful experience of ongoing domestic abuse during her three-year marriage that she has had the courage to speak about publicly. In other places, the album doesn’t flinch from some of the graphic details; the almost light-hearted “Sorry is Gone” presents more of a blanket statement of liberation and self-assertion. Make of this lyrical nugget what you will:

It’s nice to have a guy around
For lifting heavy things and opening jars
Should we really let them in on the beds?
Chain ’em to a little house outside

“Sorry is Gone” is the title track to Mayfield’s fourth solo release, and was produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, The Hold Steady, Dinosaur Jr.). MP3 via KEXP. But buy the album, either via ATO Records (where you can also get vinyl or cassette) or Bandcamp (digital only). It’s terrific. Hat tip to Glorious Noise for the video capture.

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