Jasmin Saarela, renowned frontwoman for Jess and the Ancient Ones and now songstress for Jess By the Lake, is inspired by the serene nature of her native country of Finland. With Jess By the Lake, the name itself is informed by her proximity of her home and the nearby lake she’s so familiar with. Says Saarela: “I named the project based on the fact that I’ve lived by a lake for more or less my entire life. I’ve grown in the forest and felt a strong, unchanged bond with nature through the years.” But, musically, Jess By the Lake takes on a far more organic approach, meaning there’s nods to Heart, Danzig, David Bowie, and Fleetwood Mac. Of course, the heaviness Saarela’s known for — be it actual or metaphysical — is present on debut album, Under The Red Light Shine.
As for the video for the title track, it was lensed in an old dancehall in a forest in Northern Savonia, Finland’s famous Lakeland. The dancehall was abandoned, having been used in the ’60s and ’70s for people to enjoy Finnish Schlager music while enjoying the local brew — likely a Sandels in the mid-to-late ’70s — under the ceaseless summer sun. The theme of the video was derived from the context of the lyrics, which director Jarkko Mikkonen, who was given full creative control by Saarela, says, “For me ‘Under The Red Light Shine’ song portrays themes of regret, sadness and sense of loss but there is also a good amount of purging energy, even rage that is being released. Video gives room for enigmatic Jess and the band to convey their magick. There is also narrative which winks its eye to Nick Cave’s and Kylie Minogue’s classic ‘Where The Red Roses Grow’ video and in a sense ‘Under The Red Light Shine’ is a reversal of the roles. So, there is death in obscure circumstances involved!”
Without further ado, here’s the world premiere of Jess By the Lake’s video for “Under The Red Light Shine.”
** Jess By the Lake’s new album, Under The Red Light Shine, is out now on Svart Records. Order this rock-solid, hard-hitting piece of (Finnish) rock history on CD and LP (HERE).