Jessica Lea Mayfield (born August 27, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter from Kent, Ohio. She is known for her ominous song writing, with a plaintive minimalist style that draws on both country and rock music.
Mayfield first performed with her family bluegrass band One Way Rider at the age of 8. They began touring as a family band, boarding a 1956 tour bus (once belonging to Bill Monroe, Kitty Wells, and Ernest Tubb) and headed south from Ohio to Tennessee. At age 11, Mayfield began playing guitar and writing songs. She asked her brother David to show her a few chords, and then she started using those chords to write her own songs. Mayfield would accompany her brother David at open mic nights, often covering Foo Fighters songs. Even today, she cites Dave Grohl as one of her major influences.
At age 15, Mayfield recorded her first EP White Lies in her brother's bedroom, printing only 100 copies. One of those copies fell into the hands of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. After an introduction, Mayfield and Auerbach hit the studio, laying the foundation of her debut album With Blasphemy So Heartfelt.
Mayfield's first LP was the September 16, 2008 release With Blasphemy So Heartfelt. The album was produced by Auerbach and recorded over a two-year span in his home studio in Akron. With Blasphemy So Heartfelt features Mayfield on acoustic guitar and vocals, Auerbach on a variety of instrumentation, and Mayfields brother David on upright bass. Dr. Dogs Scott McMicken and Frank McElroy provide vocal harmonies on the track Im Not Lonely Anymore. Says Auerbach of the recording experience, I think shes dark and moody in a mysterious way, not unlike Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He adds, Im just always really excited to make music with her.
With Blasphemy So Heartfelt debuted with quite a buzz around it. Pitchfork Media gave the record a rating of 8.2 out of 10. Online magazine Blurt named With Blasphemy the Best Album of 2008 and gave Mayfield the title of Best New Artist of 2008. The album's opening track "Kiss Me Again" was featured on The CW's hit series Gossip Girl on February 2, 2009, and "Bible Days" was featured on CBS's CSI: NY. "For Today" is featured on the Starbucks compilation Have You Heard?: Winter '09. Mayfield's cover of the Buddy Holly song "Words of Love" is featured on the Starbucks compilation Sweetheart: Our Favorite Artists Sing Their Favorite Love Songs.
Mayfield released her second LP Tell Me on February 8, 2011.