Austin’s got no shortage of indie blues musicians whose music sounds great from a coffeehouse stage, but it only has a few who can put together the total package of eclectic, soulful jams and a stridently powerful voice the way that Jackie Venson can. On her new single, “Next Life,” that package delivers with a slow burn that builds from a snaking rhythm to a blistering guitar solo, all while Venson’s vocals veer from cool restraint to a soaring climax.
“This song was one of those magical ones that came to me in a night,” Venson says of the track. “My heart was feeling particularly sore over this crush I had, and I knew that it was at the point where I needed to sing about it. Unlike a lot of my songs these days, I wrote it on the piano, an instrument that helps me capture the darker emotions better than the guitar.” Whatever Venson had to do—and feel—in order to get the song, it was worth it.