Jessica Lea Mayfield joined her parents’ bluegrass band when she was eight. In her teens, she did some recording with her brother, privately releasing an album under the alias Chittlin’ in 2007. That led to recording with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and her official debut, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt, which came out in 2008, when she was 19. That well-received album presented Mayfield as a moody, rootsy singer/songwriter of precocious talent, confirmed by its follow-up, 2010’s Tell Me, also produced by Auerbach. The new Make My Head Sing…(ATO) will surprise listeners who expect a third set of Americana-style folk rock. It’s a grungy power-trio album that places Mayfield’s calm voice in a squall of her electric guitar. Mayfield will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new feature on her.
Mayfield: Visual art has always been a secondary outlet for me. Except unlike music, until recently I’ve almost kept my paintings secret. Art, audible and visual has always been something I do for myself. The shit I paint is mixed-media folk art. People refer to them as looking like cartoons or monsters. I’ve had people make fun of them, but that hasn’t stopped me from using them for album artwork and shirts and the like. In a similar way to songwriting, I see something in my head, and it won’t leave until I get it out and someplace else. I have to get it off my brain.