REVIEW: Jess Jocoy Tells Universal Stories on “Such a Long Way”


Jess Jocoy is a singer-songwriter who has been interested in words and stories from karaoke nights south of Seattle to her New Heart/Old Soul EP released in 2018. She “really learned to write sad songs” after her dad’s death from lung cancer. That ability serves her well on her new album Such a Long Way.

Jocoy shares some similarities with Alice Wallace. The first is the vocal quality that they share. Jocoy sings in a voice that is pure and pretty. She also has the ability to tell a story that makes you feel like you are right there experiencing the same emotions as the narrators of these tales. One great example is in “The Ballad of Two Lovers.” In it, she sings, “We can be those two lovers who love one another, though right now we can’t say why.” Somehow that’s a perfect summary whether the couple involved have just recently met each other or been together a long time and lost the magic they once had.

“Love Her Wild” is a song that brings the songwriting of Whitney Rose to mind. This is a mellow song that seems perfect for the end of the night in a dark honky tonk. The spare nature of the melody puts more of a spotlight on Jocoy’s already strong vocals. It’s hard not to be moved when you hear this tune.

“She Won’t Be Sad Anymore” is another song that hits hard. With a muted melody behind her, Jocoy sings about someone who is “more lost than found”. It is a profound song that will reach inside you and grab hold of something. Similarly, despite the muted tone, “Aching To Feel Alive” is easily a song that could be an anthem with a lot of people. When she sings “either way I’m aching just to feel alive,” it’s easy to imagine office workers in particular singing along and feeling every word.

This is just an earnest album of good songs. Seemingly without any effort, she creates songs that have universal appeal. She has a way of singing lyrics that could easily tell the story of just about anyone. She doesn’t belt out those lyrics, but she doesn’t need to. The fact that her voice in these melodies is so muted is what makes it so powerful. Such a Long Way will be available everywhere on April 10. Order your copy here:

Jess Jocoy: vocals, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

Will Kimbrough: acoustic guitar, electric guitar

Juan Solorzano: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lap steel

Rob Crowell: drums percussion, mellotron, keyboards

Kristen Large: backing vocals

Leave a Reply!