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Interview: Jess Kent, Our Pop-Daydream Queen!

Jess Kent | Supplied

Jess Kent is quickly making a name for herself as our indie-dream, pop queen! Her latest EP ‘Parking Karma’ is a showcase of her sugar-sweet, bubble-gum energy paired with relatable dating traumas and snappy hooks. I was lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with Jess Kent, who was just as sweet as her EP!

“The first song that we wrote was called ‘No One Else’, which ended up being the first song we released from the EP. It was actually my first session with the producer ever. So, I really think it just set the tone for the rest of the body of work because we were just getting to know each other and we were instantly just having so much fun and laughing. I don’t know how the line came out, we were just playing some chords and I was saying ‘oh I tried my best to lose you but I can’t find no one else’ and he was just laughing and he was like ‘what’s that about’, so we just got off on the basis of making fun of my dating life! I think it was fun having a re-set and playing around with live instruments again because my sound has been quite electronic for a while”

Jess Kent’s debut album My Name is Jess Kent has a noticeably different sound to ‘Parking Karma’. Moving away from an edgy electronic to a bubbly, indie-pop sound, the evolution of Jess Kent is clear. While Parking Karma maintains the broody beats we heard on My Name is Jess Kent, the contrast of this against light, fun, songs such as ‘Cloud 9’ creates a playful dynamic that feels well-established.

“I feel that it’s only natural that your style evolves and what you are listening to evolves. I guess it was the first time when I was in a set of circumstances where I could kind of do whatever I want. So I wanted to take advantage of that and I realised I had gotten to a point where I was getting put into certain sessions or they would always assume what sort of session I’d wanna do – which can be a good thing or a bad thing, it’s great if people know how my music sounds. I remember just thinking ‘God, I really just wanna try something’ and it felt kind of scary at first because I wanted to make an indie record, and then just doing it was like ‘oh, you can do that’, you can change and people evolve. I still think that inherently the way that I write is kind of always the same and the way that we work in the studio is very similar – I’ve always written songs on guitar first. So, it was kind of like doing the same thing, but spending extra time getting a guitar sound that we love and keeping it in. For me that was like ‘woah’, I’ve been wanting to do that for ages. It was a conscience choice and it felt really refreshing to just try it and now I can do that every time – that’s the spice of life!”

COVID-19 and the isolation period has been a hectic time to say the least, and with many artist turning to their artwork as a coping mechanism we have bared witness to a multiple of great music released throughout this time! For Jess Kent isolation, as hard as it was, was a great reset and opportunity to create.

“We considered ourselves lucky, being me and Dave in the studio it was like ‘well, we’d be bunkered down anyway and there’s only the two of us in the room, everyday’. Lifestyle-wise, everything was turned on its head, I went home for a few months just to spend time with family and I actually feel like it’s been such a great reset! It’s been different for everyone and even if you are stuck at home, I just feel like it’s almost like you’re faced with dealing with things emotionally and personally, or it can be a really, really tough time for people as well. I just feel very lucky that I was able to make music and that I had an outlet for everyone”

Jess Kent’s energetic pop is a must-see act for 2020, and if you live in NSW you luckily can! Performing at The Vanguard on Friday the 20th of November, Jess Kent promises it’s going to be a sweet gig!

“Well obviously, it’s a brand-new show, so we’ve just been rehearsing all the new songs and we’ve got a new band and the whole look and feel of the show is totally different because we’ve got this whole new aesthetic going. I’m excited for people to see it!”

A true front-runner in Australia indie-pop, Jess Kent has shown her ability to create mesmerising, delectable tracks is truly evident on Parking Karma. An EP filled with songs that both uplift and energise, while navigating a breezy coolness, Parking Karma is Australian pop at it’s best. We can only imagine that Jess Kent will continue to evolve, and we can’t wait to see it.





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