Jemma Nicole is a young antipodean woman who resists the temptation to dance in the sun dappled joy of her native home of Australia. Jemma prefers the quick sand carpets of the gin joints and dives of Melbourne compared to the sun bleached charms and golden beaches of Oz. In 2014 Jemma was bestowed with an invitation to The Americana Music Festival in Nashville. Jemma graciously accepted the invitation to Nashville performing at the prestigious US festival culminating in a headline show at The Famous Blue Bird Cafe. Jemma's live performances are as hot as a $2.00 pistol. She’s a bluegrass balladeer an Appalachian angel whose song writing is a story telling that is completely mesmerising. Jemma embraces a tunesmith style that takes its emotional cues from life's crushing disappointments complete with sordid recollections of excesses and shame, intersected with joyous redemption delivering in song both the power and destructiveness of a double barrelled, 45 calibre handgun.
Jemma's most recent album “My Darkest Hour” is a forensic examination of manipulation and subterfuge. We live in a world that primarily focuses inward, deliberating on the facile and superficial, not Jemma Nicole . With her guitar slung across her shoulders like a bad ass bandoleer Jemma Nicole's “My Darkest Hour” is record that takes a monumental detour from the usual unbridled self gratification that is modern pop culture. Here's a woman that is in possession of stunning musical prowess and intellect,as well as an excruciating self awareness, all utilised to analyse the not so perfect. Jemma creates music with a force of thought rarely heard in today's music world, her songwriting captures the forlorn and broken while insight-fully cataloguing the determined and hopeful, it's a true examination of the soul. Jemma is no distant observer, she's dug in like an Alabama tick, documenting in aching detail a world of guilt, love, grief and regret. Jemma's work captures life's messy hinge points with a rare candour, fondly recalling troubled times in a whimsically warped, unapologetic tone. Jemma doesn't let her life flash by she catalogues beautifully that pain can take an ice age to thaw. The only thing that happens quickly in Jemma's life is her sprint towards sin. Here's is a woman that deals in fact not fantasy. Her music is world weary poetry, equal parts sublime misery,mixed with a flourishing beauty, morbidly optimistic with cautionary tales of a young and impressive life, lived without fear or favour.
Apart from touring and writing on her solo projects Jemma dedicates much of her time straddling her career with a well rounded sense of community performing and singing in “If You See Her, Say Hello Choir” a Melbourne based all female choir consisting of local musical luminaries all crusading through song for empowering liberating ideologies. While many of Jemma's peers are as nervous as a gypsies with a mortgage not wanting to rattle cages or offend the temper of the times, Jemma embraces her life and refuses to indulge society's pre-ordain defined rules of engagement. If Jemma Nicole is brave enough to make these musical memoirs then the public should be equal to the task and be bold enough to listen.
Guilty and Free
Jemma Nicole (triple j Unearthed)