Last month, Jenn Champion returned with the first single from her third album under her given name after dropping the determinedly ungooglable alias S, which carried on the slowcore tradition of her prior work with Carissa’s Wierd (you know, the group the Band of Horses guy was in) through to the mid-’10s. “Famous,” though, continued her foray into synthwave experimentation since adopting her own name as a moniker, occasionally even recalling the indietronic sounds of Lorde’s Pure Heroine.
Yet with the second single from Champion’s forthcoming The Last Night of Sadness, the songwriter harkens back to the somber ballads of Sadstyle, with “Jessica” providing a sobering look at the conflicting intense feelings that arise every time a loved one falls victim to overdose. Stripped down to just a piano and Champion’s hushed vocals, the track intentionally offers a blunt perspective on the internalized struggle that frequently accompanies news of losing another friend to drugs. “This song is about the friends we lose too soon and the parts of drug-related deaths that we don’t say out loud,” Champion says. “Unfortunately, I think we all have a Jessica.”
Check out the track below—which comes paired with an Arwen Nicks–directed video that’s just a bit less intense than Richie Tenenbaum’s haircut scene—and pre-order The Last Night of Sadness before it drops October 13 via Champion’s own Gay Forever label here.