Jess Kallen Shares New Single “The Knife”

Jess Kallen

Shares New Single “The Knife

out today via New Professor

Available across platforms here

Photo Credit: Jon Del Real 

Jess Kallen returns today with “The Knife,” the 26-year-old guitar wiz’s second single from their debut album expected in Spring of this year. Kallen – who has been spotted as a sideperson on tours with Alex LaheyRosie Tucker, even the occasional show with Olivia Rodrigo – offers up thoughtfully arranged folkish-rock that navigates grief, rage, and love with raucous urgency and whimsical charm, for fans of Phoebe BridgersIndigo De Souza and Haley Henderickx.

Twisted up with nifty guitars and an earworm melody, Kallen (they/them) drops one of 2023’s first great lyric punchlines, “the knife in my back is coming out clean,” as the lyrics consider their competing desires for freedom and stability.

“The Knife” and previous single “A Garden Bed of Thistle Weeds” show a partnership between guitars and vocals that feels like a realization for an instrumentalist stepping center stage. Kallen gravitated towards the guitar hungrily at age five. “My dad was always strumming a guitar around the house,” they recall. “He’s a metalhead, a total San Francisco misfit. I wanted to be exactly like him.” In 2014, Kallen moved to Los Angeles to attend music school for guitar, and they continue to call L.A. home between tours.

“The Knife” is out today, Jan. 24, on New Professor.

“The Knife” single art by Bella Porter