The events of this year have had a profound impact on Jessica Childress. As a result, the singer-songwriter has been more intentional regarding her music output. First, she teamed with producer and musician Rich Gonzalez this summer to form Filthii Rich and release debut single "Dreams." But now she's back to share something closer to her heart with a new EP entitled I'm Learning.
Setting the tone for the entire album is the acoustic title track "I'm Learning." While the introspective ballad centers on the ending of a relationship, it celebrates the growth and wisdom gleaned on the other side of pain. From there, Ms. Childress takes us deeper into the journey of self-discovery – blending elements of country, folk and soul on "This Little Town" and "This Cross Of Mine." Though somber, the songs provide inspiration and encouragement, particularly for those navigating a way out of fear and helplessness.
Perhaps most affecting is the heartfelt tune "Walk With Me." Produced and co-written by Rune Westberg, the organ-driven song was birthed in tears and is deeply personal. In a recent post, Jessica shared, "When I wrote 'Walk With Me' I was in a dark place. I felt so alone in the world and hopeless and unmoored. I walked into a writing session I DID NOT want to be at and Rune Westburg just let me sit and cry and be vulnerable. He held space for me. He told me to trust myself. And then he encouraged me to use the most powerful tool I’ve got - MY VOICE - to call into my life what I need most, help. And this song was born."
Although the song came from an intimate space, it was largely influenced by injustice and inequality that permeate the fabric of this country. Backed by a stirring gospel choir, Jessica's voice is emboldened in her support of the Black Lives Matter movement. "Don’t let the illusion of hopelessness silence you," she continues. "We must all use the most powerful tool we’ve got - OUR VOICE - to call into our lives what we need most, CHANGE! Together we can effect a mighty change. Walking together we could quite literally change the whole world."
Download a copy of I'm Learning, visit Jessica Childress' website for updates and look for her music (including "Walk With Me") to be featured in the upcoming movie, Princess Of The Row releasing on Thanksgiving weekend.