LA’s Jess Kallen (they/them) will release their debut album Exotherm June 21 on New Professor Music. A dynamic collection of soothing strums, sparkling finger plucks and booming choruses, Kallen maneuvers anger and confusion while holding silliness (and a soft spot for non-human critters) as a hallmark of their record. This is most evident in the first lines of brand new single and album title track ‘Exotherm’ which immediately tugs at the gut with its lopsided groove and surprising protagonist: “My pet turtle likes the space between the flower pot and wall / Feels like a hug without really being held at all”. ‘Exotherm’ is released alongside an official video starring Kallen’s own pet box turtle!
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.