Jessica Tori has first date jitters on enrapturing new single ‘Complicated’

“This project is my way of making space for stories that deserve to be shared,” Jessica Tori said of her new single Complicated.

Jessica Tori has released Complicated, an intimate portrait of first dates that serves as the Sydney singer-songwriter’s first single of 2023. The track opens with the warmth of acoustic guitar strums, which afford Tori’s storytelling the timeworn quality of a memory. 

Opting for bare production in the song’s opening moments, Complicated’s sparse simplicity allows Tori to forefront her enrapturing vocals, which curl around syllables with a twangy flair reminiscent of fellow singer-songwriter Cloves. 

Complicated Jessica Tori single

What begins as a rustic, soft-pop ballad, helped along by the subtle scrape of finger-picked guitar, later intensifies with the addition of a climactic string section. Brooding and dramatic, the gradually ascending strings bring texture to Tori’s storytelling, heightening the tension as she recalls fireside kisses that she’d been “waiting for all night.”

Perhaps the major draw card of Complicated lies in its lyricsm, so vivid and precise that you can easily envision the brief vignettes of romance that Tori paints, from a “red wine in hand”  to walking “the streets of Springwood in the rain.” 

The result is a deeply intimate portrait of the early stages of love, so personal and affecting you’d think it’s been torn from the pages of Tori’s own diary. Just as Tori’s tale of a first date feels as though its concluding, the production switches seamlessly to soft electronica, complete with punchy percussion, spacey synths and the return of more dramatic strings.


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Here, Tori introduces a dazzling array of unique flairs like the spark of a lighter or panning glitch effects, adding further complexity to mimic the turbulent emotions that come with romantic jitters. In the world of balladry, soft-spoken sincerity is hard to come by, which makes listening to Tori’s heartfelt ruminations all the more engaging. 

“I’ve lost a part of me,” she croons on the song’s final moments, “I wanted to know you.” The foray into subtle electronica to tell intimate stories – a mode showcased by the likes of Odette – is perhaps to be expected from Tori, given that she has toured with DJs like Rufus Du Sol, Timmy Trumpet, and Scooter.

Speaking of her time as a tourmate in a press statement, Tori said that “while I still love working in this world, [Complicated] is my way of making space for stories that deserve to be shared.” Dive right into a story worth telling with Jessica Tori’s new single Complicated below.