Jessica Risker is an American musician and visual artist based in Chicago, Illinois. From 2011 - 2018 Risker performed and released albums under the name Deadbeat. In 2018, Risker signed with Western Vinyl with the release of the full-length "I See You Among The Stars" and began performing as Jessica Risker.
Frequenting open mics, serving as an engineer’s assistant at a recording studio, and an active participant in Chicago’s DIY music scene, Risker has spent the past decade developing her sound and honing her recording/engineering skills. In 2012, Risker was named Chicago’s “Emerging Artist of the Year” by The Deli Magazine. In 2015 and 2016 Risker was awarded two independent artist grants from the city of Chicago, resulting in two 2016 releases: Big Forever, an ever-shifting continuous eighteen-minute piece of electro-psychedelic music released via Already Dead Tapes & Records, and Soft Moons: Twenty Lullabies, a self-released album of original instrumental music-box lullabies.
In 2017, Risker was again awarded an independent artist grant from the city of Chicago, marking 3 consecutive years Risker has won the highly competitive grant award. The funding went towards recording a new psych-folk album with engineer Dave Vettraino of Public House Sound Recordings. The resulting album entitled “I See You Among The Stars” caught the attention of Austin label Western Vinyl, who released the album in spring 2018.
Jessica Risker performs both solo and with the following musicians:
In spring of 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, Risker also began a podcast called "Music Therapy With Jessica Risker". The podcast's goal was to connect the Chicago music community, explore issues meaningful to musicians, and offer mental health awareness and support, based on Risker's experience as a professional counselor. The podcast is recorded live on Instagram weekly, then distributed through streaming platforms.
Jessica is currently working on a new folk album, as well as a space-rock album with the full band.