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How the Music of Her Childhood Shapes Jessica Lea Mayfield's Sound

Robin Laananen

When Jessica Lea Mayfield began writing music at the age of eleven, she never would have guessed that in four short years, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys would discover her. Her White Lies EP, released when she was fifteen, caught the attention of the indie rock veteran and he helped her develop the roots to an early career in music.

Music has followed Mayfield her entire life. She played rhythm guitar in her family's bluegrass band when she was just eleven-years-old, but discovered the world of alternative rock four years earlier through MTV and VH1.

"It was my secret," says Mayfield. "I was the only person in my whole family who liked any of that music."

She explored these early bluegrass influences in her first two records, but it wasn't until her latest record, Make My Head Sing..., when she made the record she had always wanted. Her 90s alternative influences bubble loudly to the surface as distortion, chorus, and heavy emotion take hold of her sound.

"I've been pushed into an Americana sort of place, and I've always been inspired by alternative music," she says. "Make My Head Sing... was the first time I had the chance to control every aspect of everything. I had the whole record in my head before I recorded it."

Jessica Lea Mayfield will be performing at the Backroom at Colectivo Coffee on Prospect Avenue Wednesday, June 22nd.

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