Jessica Lea Mayfield (b. August 27, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter, from Kent, Ohio. She is known for writing dark, sad songs, with a plaintive minimalist style that draws on both country and rock music.
Rather than trying to make herself happy, Jessica immersed herself in darkness and, at age 15, recorded her first album White Lies in her brother's bedroom, printing only 100 copies. One of those copies fell into the hands of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. After an introduction, Mayfield and Auerbach hit the studio, laying the foundation of her debut album With Blasphemy So Heartfelt.
Jessica's first LP was the September 16, 2008 release With Blasphemy So Heartfelt. The album was produced by Dan Auerbach and recorded over a two-year span in his home studio in Akron. With Blasphemy So Heartfelt features Mayfield on acoustic guitar and vocals, Auerbach on a variety of instrumentation and Mayfield’s brother David on upright bass. Dr. Dog’s Scott McMicken and Frank McElroy provide vocal harmonies on the track “I’m Not Lonely Anymore.” Says Auerbach of the recording experience, “I think she’s dark and moody in a mysterious way, not unlike Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.” He adds, “I’m just always really excited to make music with her.”
With Blasphemy So Heartfelt debuted with quite a buzz around it. Pitchfork Media gave the record a rating of 8.2 out of 10. Online magazine Blurt named With Blasphemy the Best Album of 2008 and gave Jessica the title of Best New Artist of 2008. The album's opening track "Kiss Me Again" was featured on The CW's hit series Gossip Girl on February 2, 2009, and "Bible Days" was featured on CBS's CSI: NY. "For Today" is featured on the Starbucks compilation Have You Heard?: Winter '09. Jessica's cover of the Buddy Holly song "Words of Love" is featured on the Starbucks compilation Sweetheart: Our Favorite Artists Sing Their Favorite Love Songs.
In 2007, Mayfield lent her voice to the track “Things Ain’t Like They Used To Be” on The Black Keys’ album Attack & Release produced by Danger Mouse, making her the first guest vocalist to appear on any record released by The Black Keys.
Jessica collaborated with Auerbach again on his 2009 debut solo release Keep It Hid, lending her vocals to the track "When The Night Comes."
In 2008, Jessica toured in support of and alongside The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers, Cake, Lucero, and Australian duo An Horse.
In April 2009, Jessica opened 11 dates for Ray LaMontagne, before setting out on a headlining tour that culminated with a successful performance at the 2009 Bonnaroo Music Festival.
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