Sasquatch Festival:: Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter

The second act in our Sasquatch coverage is Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter. With her smoke-infused vocals and Crystal Gayle hair, Jesse Sykes is an artist you can’t help but notice. The huskiness of her voice is charming and warm, despite the dark aura surrounds it (mostly the plodding, emotional guitar work of Phil Wandscher). It’s a subtle mix of twang and atmospheric notes that float in and around Jesse’s vocal lines. Their songs are ones you’d expect (or more accurately want) to hear as you sit alone in a dark bar, drinking a scotch, nervously fiddling with the glass as conversations and sounds enter and exit almost without notice.

That’s not to say Jesse’s music isn’t memorable, in fact quite the opposite. Like, Love, Lust & The Open Halls Of The Soul is a very rewarding listen, but that fluidity makes the songs seem so effortless, so simple. Their chemistry really draws you in, but it also makes you assume the music was easy to create. The perfectly placed backing vocals and horns on The Air is Thin sound so natural that you don’t think about how the arrangement was created.

The record is overflowing with heartache and regret and is daunting at times, but despite the heavy subject matter, the album picks you up at just the right times to help you enjoy the full listen. Little bursts, like the nice twang and heavier drums on How Will We Know after the solemn tones of Spectral Beings are important to the success of the record.

It’s not rollicking by any means, but just enough of a change up to make sure you can’t sit on a pitch. The same can be said of the up tempo, echoing guitars and piano breakdown of I Like the Sound or the roaring guitars that play unexpectedly on the outro of LLL, but overall the record itself moves at the pace of smoke leaving a resting cigarette. As you listen to Jesse repeat “those were happy times”, you realize that her music is dark and depressing, but somehow comforting.

Web site :: myspace :: label

MP3:: How Will We Know

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