Review of Jessica Lea Mayfield's New Album

by

comment

what_to_do_jessica_lea_mayfield.jpg

Kent singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield has a new album coming out on February 8. Tell Me is her major-label debut. Since she pals around with the Black Keys (Dan Auerbach produced and plays on the new album), who are also on Nonesuch Records, we're guessing they had something to do with her record deal. Mayfield has a gig with Justin Townes Earle at the Kent Stage the same day the album comes out. Here's our review of the record:

Jessica Lea Mayfield
Tell Me
(Nonesuch)

Dan Auerbach brings out the best in 21-year-old Kent singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield on her major-label debut. The Black Key produced Tell Me, but he also plays guitar, sings backing vocals, and adds drum loops. His touch is obvious on the twangy “Our Hearts Are Wrong” and the woozy “Trouble,” a ballad in which Mayfield seductively slurs, “You should run far from the wrong I am doing.” You better believe it. But the drum loops and canned beats occasionally come off as synthetic, pulling away from Mayfield’s naturally evocative voice. All that artificial noise ends up a disservice. Still, this is Mayfield’s strongest record, an alt-country torch storm that rivals Neko Case’s best. —Jeff Niesel

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.