Photo Credit: Ren Shelburne
LA’s Jess Kallen has announced their debut album Exotherm due out June 21 on New Professor Music. A dynamic collection of soothing strums, sparkling finger plucks and booming choruses, Kallen delivers a combination of anger and confusion, often walking the line between cynicism and hope, and yet still holding space for silliness and a soft spot for non-human critters. Bouncy lead single “Ink” tells a relatable tale of how time flies by when you’re stuck in a rut. Opening with the line, “Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, the time flies when nothing changes,” the song builds to a suspenseful chorus like a wave crashing over the monotony.
Kallen’s folk-rock debut grapples with grief, rage, rebirth and love with raucous urgency and whimsical charm. “I chronically ruminate. Most days my head is like a rock tumbler. Gets pretty noisy.” Exotherm was recorded live over 2 days, serving the songs written mid-pandemic lockdown with extra urgency. Embracing subversiveness in life and lyrics, the songs pave a path of nimble metaphors interlaced with charming aphorisms—and a healthy dose of existential dread.
Hungrily gravitating toward the guitar at only five years old due to the influence of their dad loosely playing at home, Kallen attended USC’s Thornton School of Music for guitar performance. They continue to call LA home and, in addition to being a Teaching Artist with the Young Musicians Foundation, playing in various rock and pop projects, including Rosie Tucker, Alex Lahey and Temme Scott. Don’t miss Jess Kallen’s Exotherm album release show at Club Tee Gee in LA on June 26 and stay tuned for more news coming soon!