Last week, had our chance to catch down under Shoegaze/Soul/Rock outfit, The Jezabels. Hailing specifically from Sydney, they travelled a long way for their first show in Los Angeles. Of course, we gave them much praise at the Satellite in Silverlake.
The Shoegaze feel for me, comes from the eerie but very gorgeous vocals of Hayley Mary. Right away, I was reminded of Karen O, with a voice that focused more on hitting just the perfect notes, then adding a soulful belting of the vocal chords to add edge. Her lyrics seem to span many tales of love and loss. But also great joy, keeping listeners awake and interested in what’s to come.
The timid, albeit talented Heather Shannon plays a wide range of nearly orchestral keystrokes from her pianos, and joins her voice to Hayley’s. My impressions of her were that she was the feisty one in the group, channeling her energy through her keyboard. Most impressive was her ability to perform several duties at once, as there’s no bass player in the Aussie outfit.
Samuel Lockwood plays rhythm guitar, and brings a vintage sound to the mix. At times it sounds a bit electric acoustic, but this enhances this experience greatly. His rhythm works well with the beat of the drums, especially in the introduction of Be a Star off of their 2009 EP, The Man Is Dead.
Drummer Nik Kaloper easily avoided the trap that most drummers in this genre fall prey to: too simple of beats. I think there is a misconception that just because you’re in a band with a beautiful piano, you have to be boring. His kit has a tribal tone to it, thin, vibrating snares giving a more organic feel throughout their catalog. Listen to their single, Hurt Me of their EP She’s So Hard if you want a specific example. Overall, he keeps the beat complicated but well structured.
I’ve grooved to this band a lot over the last couple weeks, and can’t wait to review their upcoming full length album. They have 3 solid EP’s, and the future is looking bright. Predictions for who you might see them tour with? Tegan and Sara are already crossed off their list, and I think that Bat for Lashes would be a great pairing looking forward. They’ve sold out shows on their own, so don’t be surprised to hear more of the same in the coming months.
The band just completed their North American tour, but check out their website to listen to an assortment of their work, and keep up on the latest for the quartet. Shout out to the band for letting Behind the Hype be a part of their first Los Angeles experience!
Until next time my friends,