Through immense talent, fearless songwriting, and a warm spirit emerges Whiplash, Jobi Riccio’s debut album, a self-exploratory chronicle of Riccio’s passage into adulthood. Honest and captivating, Riccio walks us through this progression with unfiltered thoughts and emotions over a sonically lush evolution of Folk-rooted sounds. Written over a time period during which Riccio left her native Colorado for the Berklee College of Music in Boston then returned home post-study, the record is heavy with the push-pull leaving adolescence behind, hence the title.
“When I was writing these songs, I kept coming back to this image of someone slamming on the breaks in a car crash and this idea of emotional whiplash,” Riccio explains. “That rush of stress and adrenaline felt similar to what I was experiencing as I emotionally processed my adolescence – almost as if I was being jerked around by one big life change after another.”
On opening track “Summer,” written on her mother’s back porch in Colorado, an easy, lush, warm welcome disguises a singular anguish of longing and nostalgia, “How come every summer I get so damn lonely,” she sings. We then meet her fearless sprit in “Sweet,” an anthemic embrace of Riccio’s authentic self before we explore numbness and escapism in the the profound “Driving.” Throughout the album, Riccio's thoughtful perspective infuses the songs with deep meaning. Tracks like "Lonely Tonight" and "Kinder To Myself" delve into themes of healing and self-forgiveness amid the backdrop of life's trials and tribulations. Elsewhere, Riccio finds a beauty in unrequited love on "For Me It's You,” and the power of embracing uncertainty in the titular track, “Whiplash."
Recorded in Gar Ragland’s Citizen Studios in Asheville, NC with help from remote collaborators, the record is an assemblage of players from all over in the same way the songs are a compilation of Riccio’s developmental years. “It was an unusual approach to making a record, but I think it came together in a really special way because of that,” reflects Riccio, who now calls Nashville home. “These songs are a patchwork that all come from different moments in my life and different versions of myself, and the recordings function in a similar way, bringing together all these different players from all these different places and weaving them around my stories and my voice.”
Riccio’s stories were introduced to us this summer at the JBE Triple A SummitFest and now for listeners all over including those of KBAC, WNRN, The Colorado Sound, KMTN, and more.
Photo by Monica Murray