Jess Ribeiro photographs by Georgia Wallace

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is a singer songwriter of some repute from Melbourne whose deadpan delivery over jangle pop vibes fall somewhere pleasingly jagged between Best Coast, Phil Spector, Jane Birkin, Strawberry Switchblade and the “Sharon Signs To Cherry Red” comp. Originally in a combo called Jess Ribeiro and The Bone Collectors and a collaborator with Mick Harvey (truly the nicest member of the Bad Seeds), it’s been roughly 3 years between each record (the last being “Kill It Yourself”), but each time Jess comes back regenerated & revitalised and ready to take it somewhere new while no shits are given.We are stoked to welcome to VS, the singing ace with a stinging wit that is Jess Ribeiro

In the other recent nihilistic and narky song “Love Is The Score Of Nothing” Jess likens the futility of romance with a zero tennis score while also taking the singing into a hairbrush to its logical endgame with a mega-hot double hairdryer mic blast, part wind machine, part lip sync frenzy. Plus she has a killer beehive not seen the rival of since The B52s.

Jess has been working with producer Ben Edwards (Aldous Harding/Marlon Williams/Julia Jacklin) and recording as an all-star 3-piece (with Dave Mudie of Courtney Barnett fame and Jade Imagine) and the new album “Love Hate” on Barely Dressed/Remote Control Records is out on 12th April…artwork below…

But what is the music that’s been making Jess tick lately? Without further ado, this is Jess’s “song for ewe”…

“Song for ewe by Jess Ribeiro

I rediscovered this song last year whilst looking through my Dad’s vinyl collection. I was in the process of writing a song for an art documentary series in Australia called “The Unmissables”, which comes out online on ABC Iview in April 2019.

The documentary is about artists making works in memory of people who have mysteriously disappeared without a trace and the great loss that families carry due to never having any closure about what happened to their loved ones. My job was to meet a family, listen to their unsolved story and record a song for (in this case) their sister, a young woman who went missing in the late 70’s. This woman loved ABBA so I wondered if I could find some songs by ABBA to use as a reference point.

“The Visitors” is a song by ABBA from their last album in 1981. It’s the title track for the record of the same name. The album is one of the first in history to be pressed on to CD. I got hooked on “The Visitors” because it’s a bit darker than their previous songs. I love the synths and Frida’s almost spoken verses in the song.It’s a bit more serious then some of their other more well known songs.

I often wondered whether the song was about aliens coming to visit and abduct someone, or if the singer is going crazy and is about to be taken away to a mental asylum. So I looked it up, and the rumour is that it’s a political song about about the mistreatment of rebels who were against the government in the Soviet Union during the late 70’s 80’s. The song was even banned in the Soviet Union.”


“Love Hate” by Jess Ribeiro is out on 12 April
…get it here…

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If you like ABBA you might also be interested in this Lucky 7 from The Granite Shore…