Jessi Robertson
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Jessi Robertson

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1997 | INDIE

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1997
Solo Rock Singer/Songwriter




"Two First-Rate, Contrasting Tunesmiths"

Where Pelcher did a lot of things, Robertson did one thing, delivering a wallop with her full-throated, angst-ridden, soul-inspired alto wail and her harrowing songs. She’ll probably be the first to admit that she’s a band person rather than a solo performer, but she reaffirmed the old aphorism that if a song sounds good solo acoustic, it’ll sound even better with a full band behind it. She opened in a nebulously early 70s Pink Floyd/Britfolk vein with a vamping lament, following with a moody reflection on aging that reminded of Kelli Rae Powell. The longing and ache in Robertson’s voice was relentless; as powerful an instrument as it is, she proved just as subtle and dynamic a singer as Pelcher, at one point disdainfully pushing the mic down and singing the rest of her set without any amplification. Not that she needed it, especially with the museum atrium’s natural reverb.

Explaining that she had a new album in the can, she told the crowd that her producer had heard her playing a brand-new song and insisted that she go back in the studio, a smart move: with its dark blues and gospel echoes, it turned out to be a characteristicaly potent portrait of pain and alienation. The characters in Robertson’s narratives deal with a lot of that, especially the girl who cuts herself in You Don’t Want to Taste My Heart, from her 2011 album Small Town Girls, arguably the high point of the show. And when she sang “You’re gonna burn, my love, ” over and over again over a haunting minor-key vamp as the last song wound out, there was no doubt she meant it. - New York Music Daily

"Jessi Robertson - Small Town Girls"

“Robertson has a voice that sounds like you imagine a hard life would sound, if a hard life could put its ups and downs to song... I remember the first time I heard Melissa Etheridge way back in 1988, the edgy, raw emotional energy she brought to her debut album just whalloped me hard. Jessi Robertson has that same fiery edge, reminding me of what made Etheridge such a vocal force early on...” - John Allman, Nine Bullets

"Songwriter's Monthly Feb. '11, #133 - Jessi Robertson"

“Jessi is staggeringly vulnerable in her music. She risks all for the truth. But it's a truth that's sung with beautiful, soul-weary vocals that resonate with compassion, making Robertson's performance absolutely mesmerizing.” - Allen Foster, Songwriter's Monthly Magazine

"Jessi Robertson’s Small Town Girls Want Out"

“...a breathy, occasionally gritty contralto, over smartly arranged Americana rock... If you like the idea of Lucinda Williams but don't like all the cliches she falls back on, Jessi Robertson is for you.” - Lucid Culture

"LC Fest Featured Performers"

"...dark, lyrically driven songs and whiskey and honey-soaked voice..." - The Deli Magazine

"Jessi Robertson - Live Performance Review"

“Jessi Robertson's DIY aesthetic comes across not only in the home-recording bareness of her singer/songwriter guitar tunes, but in the honesty and openness of her lyrics. She sings like she's still in her bedroom, and that's refreshing rather than too raw – she's here simply to play, and is not at all shy about it.” - Liz Levine, Knocks from the Underground

"Review: Jessi Robertson - Who We Are, What We Have Done"

“Compared to Tori Amos, Jeff Buckley and PJ Harvey, Robertson is an enigmatic songwriter who focuses first and foremost of the art of the song, making each composition an adventure for the listener.” - Wildy's World

"Own This City: Wednesday Night Song Club"

Jessi Robertson's voice is hauntingly beautiful. - Lindsay Pasarin, Time Out New York

"Top 12 DIY Albums December 2008"

Who We Are, What We Have Done is a heart-wrenching and deeply inspiring debut from New York-based Jessi Robertson.

Robertson expertly mixes an alt-country vocal style with electronic drumbeats, possessing a voice that commands attention from the first note. Her tone is captivating whether floating in a whispered reverie or letting loose over unconventional lyrics and acrobatic melodies.

Opener “Geometry of a Heavy Heart” displays her propensity toward abstract lyricism, while “Papers & Magazines” best sums up the record: “We don’t need our names in the annals of history / ’Cause we know who we are and what we have done.” —BW - Performing Songwriter Magazine

"Zest Radio Show"

"Jessi Robertson demonstrates the qualities in a singer that prove themselves time and time again. The qualities are of a soothing, soulful, graceful, honest, and emotive style. You will never want to stop listening to Jessi Robertson's story." - Paul Richmond

"Editor's Review"

"This New York singer-songwriter draws comparisons to equally spirited alt-folk muses Tori Amos and PJ Harvey. But with her quavering, spiritual verses, the analogy she deserves is with Jeff Buckley, gender difference or no." - c|net


Fall 2014 - I Came from the War

New full-length album to be released, featuring a new band with Omer Leibovitz (The Courtesy Tier, Dan Abraham), Layton Weedeman (The Courtesy Tier), and Alex Picca (The Press).

2011 - Small Town Girls
2008 - Who We Are, What We Have Done



In 2011, Brooklyn singer/songwriter Jessi Robertson released a study in memory called "Small Town Girls." On her new album, "I Came from the War," the focus shifts to history, and how the inner and outer conflicts of the past shape a person's present.

While we've become experts in the art of the perfect self-image, Jessi remains fascinated by the accidental beauty revealed in the imperfections; the hopeless romantic who spurns love, the stubborn pride covering a grievous wound, the unshakable faith that no amount of darkness can kill.

These contradictions are faithfully captured in the live performances on "I Came from the War." There's room to roam from a ghostly lullaby croon to a wild banshee wail, supported by the lush instrumentation of band mates Omer Leibovitz (Courtesy Tier, Dan Abraham), Alex Picca (Courtesy Tier, The Press), and Layton Weedeman (Courtesy Tier, Isle of Rhodes).

Band Members