Jess Locke Welcomes New Solo Era With Punchy Single ‘Uncomfortably Happy’

10 January 2024 | 4:22 pm | Ellie Robinson

Her fourth solo album, ‘Real Life’, is due out at the start of May.

Jess Locke

Jess Locke (Credit: Ian Laidlaw)

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Jess Locke has returned with her first new solo music in an agonisingly long three years, announcing her fourth album and dropping its punchy lead single.

The album itself is titled Real Life, and is due to arrive on May 3 via Dot Dash and Remote Control. It’s the follow-up to Locke’s 2021 album Don’t Ask Yourself Why, and in a press release, it’s explained that the 11-track LP acts as “an exercise of melancholic introspection, dealing in alienation, impermanence, despair and darkness, and then also revelation”.

Our first preview comes in the form of Uncomfortably Happy, which is described as “a celebration of chaos and letting go of control, of failure even, because all of it is just temporary”. In an accompanying statement, Locke explained how that ethos drove the song thematically: “It’s something I write about a lot, maybe because I am still trying to become comfortable with the idea that life is temporary and meaningless and that’s a good thing.”

As for how that plays into the broader themes of Real Life, Locke continued:  “Writing this record, I found myself thinking a lot about what it means to live when you know that one day you will die, not just individually, but as a species, as a planet. So while it’s quite a heavy topic, a lot of the album is a process of returning to the present moment, realising that it’s the only thing that’s real and that the only purpose in a life that will one day end is to experience it, and that’s quite liberating on a personal level.

“Music is possibly one of the most effective tools for grounding yourself in the present and, in making this record, I found that, along with the darkness, I found moments of revelation – an escape from the fantasy of what life could be into the reality of what it is.”

Locke will preview the album at a special one-off headline show in Melbourne (Naarm), where on Friday February 23, she’ll take to the stage at the Retreat Hotel alongside Baby Velvet and Taylah Carroll. Tickets for that gig are on sale now – find them here.

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You can also head here to pre-order Real Life, and see below for the Uncomfortably Happy music video.