Two years has passed since Jess & The Bandits skyrocketed onto the British country scene. The anti-thesis of the bland, predicatible but somewhat enjoyable The Shires, the quintet were loud, playful and rather addictively fun. With the charged anthems My Name Is Trouble and Wanted Man, the group sent their fans into a frenzy, while vocalist Jess Clemmons equally has the capacity to induce floods of tears with her heartbreaking ballads What If and Love Like That. And who can forget their sensational Wichita Lineman cover that gave the late Sir Terry Wogan tingles?
Having conquered the #6 position in the Country Charts, the duo spent two years on the road touring the record before taking some time out to write the difficult second album. New single Kings of Summer is the first fruit of their labour.
Penned by Sarah Emily Berrios and Trent Summar, Kings of Summer displays a marked change in the band’s sonic direction. While it maintains the underlying sense of fun in the band’s sound, the understated nostalgic feel to Jess’ vocal and the Bandits’ harmonies gives the band an air of Fleetwood Mac meeting Sam Hunt and Lady Antebellum – which is an interesting and winning combination.
While the band could have easily released a predictable album teasing single that trod the same path as their previous records, just as their contemporaries Ward Thomas and The Shires did upon approaching their sophomore album’s, Jess & The Bandits take a risk that may challenge some of their fans but one that places them in a more interesting and compelling musical domain than the aforementioned two. If this is a taste of what is to come, we think this could be the year that Jess & The Bandits take the country crown.