Priestess is the haunting doom incarnation of Brooklyn-based songwriter Jackie Green. Green straddles worlds as divergent as day and night with a grace that understates her inimitable work ethic, playing music in what little spare time she has entering her second year of law school. Flanked by a new line-up of bandmates, she premieres her debut self-titled EP today on Audiofemme.
Raised upstate, Green had nearly fifteen years of classical violin training under her belt before she first picked up a guitar three years ago. She cut her teeth playing in a handful of Brooklyn bands, like Evil Daughter, while growing as a guitarist at home by writing her own songs. “I taught myself a lot about how to play guitar by writing songs that I couldn’t play yet and mastering them,” she explains. “The goal is always to be as good as Black Sabbath, but no one ever will be, including me!”
The EP articulates Green’s love of psychedelic rock and heavy metal well, though her take on these classic sounds is modern, nodding heavily towards contemporary doom metal. The looming riffs of opening instrumental track “L.V.B.” evoke the early King Woman EP Doubt, and the cadence of Green’s vocals throughout the EP, namely on lead single “Locomotive,” call to mind those of Pallbearer’s Brett Campbell.
Citing her extreme form of organization and time management, Green managed to get this EP written, recorded, and mastered while also putting together a new cast of bandmates and finishing her first year of law school. While on the surface it seems like she leads a double life, Green has come to the conclusion that she’s merely a multifaceted person. “I’ve almost kind of criticized myself, and I’ve sort of judged myself, like, you’re two-faced! Pick one! Like, who are you?” she says. “But I realized they’re really not so different, everything is still me – I like to work hard. I work hard at music, and I work hard at school, and I like to feel challenged and intellectually stimulated.”
She says this with a marked humility that minimizes such an impressive achievement, to release music she wrote on an instrument she taught herself to play not all that long ago while completing arguably one of the most difficult academic tasks one can attempt. She believes one provides an escape for the other, between the cerebral and the physical realms – a refreshing take on the balance so many young creatives struggle to achieve in their lives. This form of intentional escape is evident in the EP itself, brimming as it is with the truth and freedom of an artist fully immersed in her present moment, a few hours stolen away from a packed schedule.
Priestess celebrates the EP with a release show this coming Monday, September 16 at The Broadway. Expect to hear tracks from the EP updated and evolved by new bandmates, as well as newer material. Green hopes to take it on the road while on break from school in January, and aims to be back in the studio recording a full-length this time next year. I have no doubt she’ll pull it off.