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Big Takeover #81 Fall 2017
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Video Premiere: "Spiritual Riddles" by Jess Ledbetter

JessLedbetterJade Fusco
12 April 2018

Jess Ledbetter; Photo Credit: Jade Fusco

Born and raised in Arlington, Texas, Jess Ledbetter moved to New York City at the age of 18 and remained there for nearly a decade learning about art and music. A closet songwriter since adolescence, she joined her first band in 2011 on bass guitar and went on to further explore electric guitar and drums. Frustrated by the tumultuous nature of collaboration and the tireless motion of the city, she opted to move back to the South with the intention of self recording a solo record.

Ledbetter’s move coincidentally landed her a spot as lead singer for Austin rock/shoegaze outfit Honeyrude while she began writing and recording by herself at home. Her interest in visual art has been an integral part of her sonic narrative. With the release of Ledbetter’s first solo EP, she has taken the opportunity to shape all aspects of the process, including making costumes, designing album artwork, and creating a music video.

Ledbetter’s debut EP, Slow Desert, is a diary-like collection of dueling emotions, equally self conscious and empowered; reminiscent of past decades with the modern audience in mind. The EP will be released May 4th by Shifting Sounds.

The Big Takeover premieres the mesmerizing video for the reflective, noir slow-burner “Spiritual Riddles.” A hypnotic Ledbetter is the center of attention, drawing out her haunting vocals while bathed in a fluorescent red-violet glow and dressed in sparkling attire. Her serpentine movements are rendered in slow motion, with the camera pulling in and out of focus, imbuing the video with a dream-like quality.

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