Named for the voice memo number Graves’ phone assigned to the rudimentary recording, “331” punctuates the Deathbed EP due out October 2 on Illumin Records, a record label that Jessa Graves mother owned and Jessa resurrected on Mother’s Day this year. In the early ’90s, Annie Graves started Illumin Records to independently release her own music. Twenty-six years later, Jessa is bringing back Illumin Records with a revitalized mission at the intersection of music, tech, and advocacy.
The Portland post-punk trio J. Graves is Jessa Graves on guitar with Aaron MacDonald on drums and Kelly Clifton on bass. For fans of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sleater-Kinney, and Joy Division, this highly charged, sweet, and agonizing garage rock lures listeners towards angular guitar work, skittering disco beats, and thudding bass.
“”331” is me in pieces, my heart and hope obliterated. “You can’t say my name out loud” is sung from the perspective of the biggest love and hurt I’ve ever felt in my existence. I feel this as a tight band across my chest and even still feel deeply connected after all these years. This song is one rooted in mystery, toxicity, addiction admission, and why some things are better left for dead. “I am a fool for you, I don’t know what you do” is sung to that big love and hurt, to the person responsible. This whole song is a back and forth, with pleas for help and mercy, a promise of “never again,” and as the song comes to an end, it’s clear that significant love and loss will outlive us all. “I can’t believe you could be the weight of my world” speaks to not being sure if I’ll ever have what I had again. Named for the voice memo number on my phone that captured the song’s first play through, “331” punctuates the ‘Deathbed’ EP due out October 10/2/20 on Illumin Records.” Jessa Graves
- Time Travel
- Lo the Mourning
Outside the band, Graves is partnering with Womxn That Rock, a queer and gnc inclusive music platform spotlighting women in music and resurrecting her mother’s record label Illumin. The mission is redefining the role of record labels for womxn and gnc led projects through education, transparency, empowerment, and new deal structures leveraging tokenization and blockchain technology.
To learn more about Jessa Graves, J. Graves band, and Illumin records, check out the links below.