The Bowery Presents
The Jezabels

The Jezabels

Hey Rosetta!, Yukon Blonde

Wed, October 17, 2012

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Webster Hall

New York, NY

This event is 18 and over

The Jezabels
The Jezabels
"What's a girl to do, standing in the spotlight?"

It's a fine question to ponder as the curtain rises on The Jezabels' third album. High expectations are a given now, seven years since those first EPs began their slow burn from Sydney to the world; four since PRISONER scooped the Australian Music Prize and set stages ablaze from Splendour to Lollapalooza.

"What's it gonna be? Maybe it's a broken heart."

Yeah, they know that feeling too, after the turmoil of illness and dislocation surrounding their aptly titled second album, THE BRINK. Don't even ask. Just cue a second #2 debut and another spectacular global onslaught.

What's a band to do? The answer is short but loaded to the teeth. SYNTHIA.

The title gets Hayley Mary talking in pictures as big as the music itself. From the Greek goddess of the moon to '80s synth-pop goddess Cyndi Lauper. From The Heroine's Journey to the rock world's simplistic perception of the synthetic feminine versus the authentic male.

All that's between the lines, of course. The Jezabels didn't choose their biblical namesake at random when Hayley and Heather met Sam and Nik at Sydney Uni almost a decade ago. Their deeply felt gender agenda has only grown more potent and personal as the world bends slowly to its fury.

Here their Trojan horse of big, cinematic rock has escalated in scale. With PRISONER producer Lachlan Mitchell back at the desk and Heather's growing arsenal of new and vintage keyboards¬ pushing the textural frontier, SYNTHIA is a bold assertion of craft that sets this band apart in a world groaning with blokes doing their best impersonation of rock authenticity.

"Heather had a couple of new synthesisers, so a lot of ideas were coming from her and then we'd build the songs around them," Hayley says. "We were back in Sydney [from London] in January, we just got together to rehearse and we wrote about four songs in a week.

"This is a record we made ourselves, at our own behest," she says significantly. "People were actually surprised when they heard it was happening. We were surprised. We just had a natural momentum."

"The sound keeps growing," says Mitchell, who witnessed the songs' evolution over nearly seven months in the studio. "Sam's guitar has transformed into this big, cinematic thing enveloped by effects and washes… Nik is the guy that gives the power and the intricacy to all of that. He's always time-shifting, thinking up new parts to suit the big picture."

SYNTHIA plays like a widescreen heroine's journey in 10 parts — or maybe 11, if you count the swooning opening dream sequence of Stand And Deliver, with its spoken word invocation of Shirley Temple via Edie Sedgwick.

The far bookend is Stamina, another seven-minute drama that rises from liquid guitar ripples to an ecstatic, crashing crescendo of drums and determination.

The pendulum swings from ether calm to operatic epiphany within the space of any given song. The electronic glitch and thrash of My Love Is My Disease balances the symphonic undulations of A Message From My Mothers Passed.

The sinuous groove and sigh of Smile and the sensuous swing and electro burbles of Pleasure Drive find the band forging breathtaking new scaffolds of rhythm and melody for stories that have never been more timely.

"Previously I've shrouded myself a lot in mystery and the language of romanticism; played roles and stuff — which reflected some kind of truth about how I felt as a woman," Hayley says.

"Now I feel like I can be much more upfront about all that. The truth about how it feels to be a woman has become a much more prominent part of the general conversation in the last couple of years," she says. "These are exciting times. I think we've made an album that celebrates that."
Hey Rosetta!
Hey Rosetta!
Hey Rosetta! hails from the rocky and cold northeastern province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. In 2005, Tim Baker arrived home from a road trip with a suitcase full of poems and melodies. Hey Rosetta! formed soon after with the addition of a string section (cellist Romesh Thavanathan and violinist Kinley Dowling) and rhythm section (bassist Josh Ward, drummer Phil Maloney and guitarist Adam Hogan). Since then, they’ve blossomed into a powerful group whose explosive live shows have earned them a devoted following.
The band’s new album, Seeds, was produced by Tony Doogan (Belle and Sebastian, Mogwai, Wintersleep) and reveals a maturing lyrical depth and an adventurous musical atmosphere rooted to the band’s passion for epic musical experiences. Seeds was short- listed for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and the band received two CASBY nominations, four ECMA nominations and a JUNO Award nomination for New Group of the Year.
It was while recording 2008’s breakthrough album Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood) that Tim Baker began to fully realize his remarkable vocal and lyrical abilities, and the band made a huge creative leap forward. They spent nearly three years on the road, touring in support of Into Your Lungs and were named one of Billboard's Top 5 Canadian acts to watch. The album garnered a slew of awards and critical accolades, and was also short-listed for the Polaris Music Prize.
It was while touring Into Your Lungs that the concept of Seeds was born. “The title track, “Seeds”, came about while out on the highway a few years ago,” muses Baker. “In a way, it's about what our lives had become, and how we’re like seeds that float around into different fields and cities, bringing something and trying to build something for the people that come to see us.”
The group spent time developing the sonic landscapes found on Seeds while maintaining a very full tour schedule that took them to Australia, China, Europe, the US and on numerous tours of Canada (including a tour of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut). The band holed up in Newfoundland to work on the songs before traveling to Halifax, Nova Scotia to record with Tony Doogan at The Sonic Temple (where they had tracked Into Your Lungs).
“Tony was really incredible at getting all the sounds and tones we'd dreamt up. He’s an amazing engineer and for all his Scottish bluster and pop-rock dogma, he is very sensitive, patient, and a gifted producer,” says Baker (who wrote all of the songs except “Downstairs”, “Young Glass”, and “Seeds” which he co-wrote with guitarist Adam Hogan).
Thematically, Seeds touches on themes ranging from depression to procreation. “Young Glass” was written after reading J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey. Baker explains: “It’s sort of directed at the novel’s main character, Franny. It describes a sleepwalking scene that didn't actually occur in the book, but one that I imagined. We spent a lot of time flying and sleeping on planes and in airports, and I was always finding myself in half-waking states, feeling, as one does, all alone somewhere between dream and reality. When I’d wake up, I was always surrounded by people going about their business. I like that; a sort of evidence that even when we think we are completely alone, we are not. So I wrote Franny, a character who is plagued by such thoughts, a song about it... but it's really about everyone.”
Not surprisingly, a few of the songs on Seeds were inspired by the band’s itinerant lifestyle. Baker offers further reflection on the album’s title track: “Appropriately, it’s about the power of the road trip; escape, rebirth through movement...and the rare moments of escape and empowerment you get while highwaying yourself from town to town.”
“Seventeen” takes its title from “the never-ending, wild, woody highway 17 that runs across northern Ontario,” but the lyrics reveal something much more personal: “It's a song about being between childhood and adulthood, between the east and west coasts of the country, and just being caught between things in general...but it's not really a song of despair. It's also about being at a crossroads, not missing the past or stressing about the future, just being present, in the in-between, and the freedom of that.”
Hope is another of the album’s recurring themes: the first single “Welcome” was written for some close friends of Baker’s who were about to become parents. “I wrote a song for the little soon-to-be, who is now an 18 month old girl named Madeleine; healthy and beautiful, just like her parents. I was just sitting with them, talking to the unborn baby in a sort of cynical, joking way. You know, like ‘stay in there as long as you can, kid. Sorry, but it's a mess out here...’ and so on. Later, alone, I was thinking about what it means to bring new life into the world: how it's sort of sad, but also so hopeful and kind of religious.”
The album closes on a sweetly optimistic note, with “Bandages” reminding us that even when things seem hopeless, “the winter always ends.”
Yukon Blonde
Yukon Blonde
Over the years, Yukon Blonde have earned no shortage of acclaim for their hook-heavy brand of pop rock. But despite their love of vintage rock 'n' roll, they aren't the kind who cling to the past. 2012’s Tiger Talk represented an adventurous step; its ten short and punchy tracks saw the band trim the fat and pack the hooks into streamlined arrangements. "Radio" assaults the speakers with a brash stomp worthy of early Elvis Costello, and “My Girl" taps into powerpop greatness with its "whoa-oh" refrain. Yukon Blonde have recorded a third studio album to be released Summer 2015.
Venue Information:
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY, 10003
http://www.websterhall.com/