Song of the Day: Jessica Lea Mayfield – Sorry Is Gone

photo by Ebru Yildiz

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Sorry Is Gone” by Jessica Lea Mayfield from her 2017 album Sorry Is Gone on ATO Records.

Jessica Lea Mayfield – Sorry Is Gone (MP3)

Last July, Mayfield went public about her experiences with domestic violence, revealing information about injuries she had sustained from her husband’s abuse. Sorry is Gone, her fourth full-length, sees Mayfield moving through her trauma and taking back her life. Motivated largely by her desire to help others who might find themselves in a similar situation, Sorry is Gone is monumental in its courage and a masterpiece in empowerment.

Mayfield’s new album also finds her delivering more of the distinctive alt-country sound for which she’s become renowned; her voice is delicate in its tone and phrasing, yet powerful in its resolute lyrics and heavy reverb. And she continues to push her distinctive, distorted guitar sound to the dark edges of alt-country, at times sounding like thick, grungy shoegaze, or even doom metal on tracks like “Soaked Through.”

The catchy title track “Sorry is Gone,” however, is the brightest, most unapologetic song on the album. Mayfield is done apologizing. As she said in a recent interview, “When I finished ‘Sorry is Gone,’ it was like OK, this summarizes the whole album: I’m not sorry for anything anymore, this is the last apology I can make. I’m the kind of person who was constantly made to feel like I needed to apologize for myself. As a woman, you apologize for things that are other people’s fault, and it’s weird to realize that that’s been ingrained in your mind, and it’s a hard thing to move past. ‘Sorry is Gone’ was me saying that I’m tired of apologizing for no fucking reason at all.”

Mayfield’s 43-stop U.S. tour will bring her to Seattle’s Tractor Tavern on Saturday, February 3rd. In the meantime, you should probably follow her on Instagram (and Facebook and Twitter while you’re at it!) and check out her sun-drenched video for her empowering anthem below.

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