17th April 2024 0 By Jon Deaux
EYE – the new band from Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard (MWWB) singer-songwriter/musician Jessica Ball – recently announced the arrival of their eagerly awaited debut album, ‘Dark Light’ set for release on 26th April via New Heavy Sounds (Shooting Daggers, MWWB, Blacklab).
‘Dark Light’ is an intensely atmospheric fusion of emotionally charged songcraft and inspired sonic energy. The clue is in the album’s paradoxical title. Chilling and even bleak melodies with arrangements daringly and deliberately stripped down and minimal. Revealing a kinship with sonic bed-fellows Mazzy Star, Chelsea Wolfe, or even Portishead. 
Today sees the release of 2nd single ’The Other Sees’, described by Jess as a lost song about, “yearning, love, and frustration. Although you have what you want, the realization that it will one day end fills you with anguish. Ironically, I was in a really good place when writing it. As I’m not one who is creatively motivated by positive feelings, I tried to explore the “dark side” of happiness and love… As all good things must end, so will this. Are we content, or are we constantly looking for more? This also fits in with the Dark Light. If there is one, there must be the other. Musically, we played around a lot with this one as it sounds so different from our first demo which was a lot of fun.”
Listen to the single – https://lnk.to/jXIFY4
Jess adds, “These songs have been many years in the making… Some of these ideas were crafted before MWWB, this is something I’ve always wanted to do. Over the last couple of years, I’ve spent some time on finishing and crafting these ideas and pieces of music into songs. Some were snippets of lyrics from my early twenties which reflect on what seems like a different person. I think it’s quite poetic how it’s all come together now. 
I was also encouraged after finding musicians who understood the vision and style I was trying to achieve and of course my experience of being in MWWB. I’m a guitarist above all, and I loved reconnecting with guitar again. It feels like all my influences and favorite styles have come together in this album. Shoegaze, doom, folk, dream pop… It’s a real mixed bag but as a whole, it represents many different stages of my life and tells a story.  
The album ultimately is quite introspective yet lyrically loose enough to be open to interpretation – I’ve always been a fan of songs that seem to perfectly slot into the situation I’m experiencing and not too specific to one person’s experience… I think that comes across in this album.”
Jessica relocated from Wrexham to join her new partner, veteran Welsh musician Gid Goundrey (Gulp, Ghostlawns, Martin Carr), in Cardiff just as the pandemic era dawned. Confined to their small Grangetown flat, they quite naturally began making music together. 
Having earned acclaim and a fervent fan following for her role in MWWB, Ball took the opportunity to compose songs that were all her own – nuanced, lyrical, and hypnotically distinctive.
Triggered in part by the existential dread looming outside as well as the sudden ill health of her dear friend, MWWB guitarist Paul “Dave” Davies, then fighting for life after a Covid-related stroke.
With Goundrey on drums (for the first time in his musical career) and joined by keyboardist Jonny, Eye experimented with sounds to match Ball’s melodic songs, traversing a diverse spectrum of dark folk, dream pop, IDM, and psychedelic doom, to create sometimes heavy and foreboding drones, alongside spare but still richly textured sonics. 
Songs like “The Other Sees”, “Respair”, and “See Yourself” are chameleonic and commanding, wielding snaky, chiming guitar back to back with fuzzed-out riffs.  Vocal melodies may be sweet but melancholic, amidst tightly contrasted spatial dimensions, and Ball’s signature vocals are at the forefront, sometimes soaring but also with a heart of darkness. Of the two ‘heavier’ numbers “In Your Night,” slowly builds to a brooding fuzz-groove like a down-tuned Yo La Tengo until a huge space-doom riffs carries you home while with “See Yourself” the contrast from folk delicacy to tripped out sub-bass fuzz riffage is astounding.
So, whilst not strictly speaking ‘Doom’ or ‘Metal’ fans of Jessica’s previous work with MWWB will not be disappointed. Along with producer Chris Fielding (MWWB, Conan) EYE has produced something otherworldly, which is at times heavy and epic, yet still deeply intimate and dark. A striking debut.
‘Dark Light’ is due to drop on 26th April 2024, and as with all New Heavy Sounds releases, will come in a deluxe limited vinyl edition. Green/Purple half-and-half effect vinyl, with full download included as well as limited edition CD and at all digital platforms. 
Pre-order now:
Watch the video for previous single ‘In Your Night’ – https://youtu.be/vcoXwKDvXeY?si=MhToVqq1ZWsYroqc
Follow EYE online:

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