The spidey-senses of Dire Straits fans out there may well be tingling, and rightly so. The title of Guise’s latest single is in direct reference to Mark Knopfler & Co.’s classic ‘Brothers in Arms’; a record that also happened to be a favourite of Jessica Guise’s late and much-loved father.
‘Brother In Arms’ marks the start of a long journey, one she and her brother took together after the death of their father when she was only 18. The song deals with the fallout of that loss, and how she and her brother tried to pick up whatever remnants of young life they may have each had, and do their best by his memory. Reflecting on the song she says:
“‘Brother in Arms’ (is) a song for my big brother. It’s about him and my lovely dad. He taught us to love Dire Straits and Bob Dylan, and he taught me to play the guitar. He was the absolute best. The song is about my brother and I in the post-apocalyptic world we found ourselves in after he died.”
Though musically poles-apart from the gun-slinging arena rock of the Straits’ trademark sound, ‘Brother In Arms’ posseses a quietly transfixing gravitas of the kind Laura Marling or Laura Veirs can conjure from deep within. From its delicately spindled folk beginnings to its defiant crescendo, a story of heartbreak served with a very real emotional heft unravels that will have listeners wrapt upon every single note.
Recording and performing as a folk-pop quartet, GUISE is also very much the voice and heart of: Jessica Guise. Writing and playing songs live since her teens, Jessica has honed her craft as an artist who sings with delicacy, whilst imparting vicious asides when you least suspect. Vocal flutters conceal stinging ripostes, with hers a style that is by turns sweet and haunting. Possessing a remarkable folk lilt that nods to her influences including Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks and Dar Williams, Jessica is also a master of sardonic quip and empowering self-deprecation; skills she utilises to the full on Guise’s latest EP.
Latest single ‘Brother in Arms’ is one of 4 to feature on Guise’s upcoming debut release with Xtra Mile Recordings: ‘The Fun Part’, out 6 March 2020. Recorded between sessions at Reservoir Studios North London in November 2018 and finished during gaps in the band’s various schedules throughout 2019, ‘The Fun Part’ EP finds the singer joining the dots on a decade of life-changing events. From songs reflecting on loved-ones lost and the importance of family, to more earnest expressions on romantic entanglements gone awry, the EP will showcase a quartet of confessional folk-pop songs laden with Jessica’s tongue-in-cheek humour, wry intelligence and shot-through with the honest confidence of life-lessons learned the hard way.
Jessica is accompanied on the EP by her talented and faithful band, bassist Titas Halder, co-vocalist Laura Hanna, and drummer Keith Barry.
In tandem with the release of the new EP, Guise will be airing tracks from it at a series of UK live appearances throughout March in support of Frank Turner (who in turn also produced ‘The Fun Part’ EP). Full dates and details below.