It’s been three years since Jessie Ware released her second album ‘Tough Love’ the critically-embraced follow up to Jessie’s landmark debut ‘Devotion’ in 2012. With both albums now gold-certified in the UK, a million albums sold worldwide and her influence undeniable, Jessie has spent the last three years working on her third album ‘Glasshouse’.
’Glasshouse’ was largely recorded with Jessie’s long-term friend and collaborator Benny Blanco out in California. Like Dave Okumu and Two Inch Punch, Benny has been working with Jessie for almost a decade.
When tracks became over complicated, they were stripped back. Jessie spent hours listening to her musical heroes: Joni Mitchell, Nina Simon, Carole King and Aretha Franklin. In January, she went into sessions with songwriter James Newman and producer and writer Starsmith. ‘I said, “Listen, I don’t want to do a pop thing. I want to do a track that makes people feel something, let’s not try and write for radio’. With that agenda in mind, Jessie set about creating a collection of songs that is emotive and real, true to herself and her original impulses as a songwriter.
Running throughout ‘Glasshouse’ is a deep-rooted sense of emotional honesty that comes from Jessie reuniting with the people she most feels most at comfort with. Jessie has returned to the most important collaborators – and crucially, friends - from her Mercury nominated debut, ‘Devotion’. Teaming up once again with Kid Harpoon, the pair dug deep and created the delicate ballad ‘Alone’, an emotive and impassioned ode to finding the time to be with loved ones. On working with Kid Harpoon, she says, ‘I knew we had another song in us like ‘Wildest Moments’. I felt we had it and we just needed the time to do it’.
For a studio version of fan favourite ‘Last of the True Believers’, Jessie tapped close friends Felix and Hugo White (The Maccabees). “It was a song for Sam, my husband, about escaping this weird world I work in. I haven’t given up on these songs from the past and I have my best friends and favourite people on them.” Also appearing on the record is Ed Sheeran who co-wrote the album’s closing track ‘Sam’. The track also features a slew of world-renowned musicians including Pino Palladino, Chris Dave and Nico Segal.
It’s taken a transformative period for Jessie to reconnect with her roots. ‘Glasshouse’ is a record that celebrates Jessie as a songwriter while contemplating her future as an artist. The album is reflective but forward-looking.