Jessie Kilguss “Wuthering Heights”
To kick off the new year, NYC indie folk-pop artist Jessie Kilguss has unveiled the video for her gentle and sanguine acoustic rendition of ‘Wuthering Heights’, first made famous by Kate Bush.
“Alex Dar, a Russian artist, made the video. He’d never heard of Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ or the novel by Emily Brontë. I told him the story of the book and song and sent him some photos I’ve taken in Ireland over the years, many of the ruin of Clifden Castle. He came up with something unique. I like that he didn’t have Kate Bush’s brilliant videos for this song as a reference for what he created. I like that he didn’t know her incredible original version of the song either. It meant he had to create something from scratch from my version of the song and from the photos and storyline I told him,” says Jessie Kilguss.
Engineered, produced, mixed and mastered by Charlie Nieland (Debbie Harry, Rufus Wainwright, Blondie, Scissor Sisters) at Saturation Point Studios in Brooklyn, this stripped down features only guitar, vocals, harmonium and glockenspiel.
With Kilguss handling vocals and harmonium, she is accompanied by Charlie Nieland on glockenspiel with guitar by Andrea Longato, who has played with some of today’s finest artists, including Jeremy Jordan, Alphonso Ribeiro, Duncan Sheik, Tony Vincent (The Voice) and Justin Guarini (American Idol).
“I’ve been covering this song live for a couple of years. I’m a big fan of Kate Bush. I read ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë when I was a teenager and loved it. I wonder if that would be the case as an adult. The song ‘Wuthering Heights’ really captures the spirit of the book in its melodrama and angst. I find it really fun to sing because of that,” says Jessie Kilguss.
“One of the things I love about Kate Bush is that she deals in big emotions and is a master storyteller. I find this song so compelling. It’s extraordinary that she wrote it when she was a teenager.”
This offering follows her recently-released ‘What Do Whales Dream About at Night?’ LP, a collection of eloquent indie folk, pop rock and Americana-tinged songs featuring drummer Brian Griffin (Patti Smith, Brandi Carlisle, Lana Del Rey), bassist Whynot Jansveld (The Wallflowers, Butch Walker, Sara Bareilles), award-winning composer-producer Naren Rauch on guitar, and Nathan Schram (Bjork, David Crosby, David Byrne), with whom Kilguss runs the non-profit organization Musicambia.
Mixed and mastered by Charlie Nieland, the album was co-produced by Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Helium), Kilguss and her band members with Lasus also engineering.
A former actress, whose acting highlights include ‘The Crucible’ (with Daniel Day Lewis and Winona Ryder) and the stage production ‘As You Like It’ (directed by Royal Shakespeare Company founder Sir Peter Hall), Kilguss made the switch to songwriting after working with two of her musical heroes – Marianne Faithfull and Mary Margaret O’Hara in the Tom Waits / William Burroughs musical ‘The Black Rider’.
In addition to writing and performing her own music, Kilguss also sings with Gramercy Arms, Jim Andralis and the Syntonics and Benjamin Cartel. She also performed at the Sundance Film Festival and with Freddie Stevenson, supporting The Waterboys for their European tour.
‘Wuthering Heights’ is out now, available from fine digital platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp, where Kilguss’ latest album What Do Whales Dream About at Night?’ can also be found.