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
Revelation is part of The Jezabels’ art. Three EPs have led us this far. The Man Is Dead. She’s So Hard. Dark Storm. Strange jewels dropped along their winding path to who knows where, each more lustrous than the last.

Did you see how they caught the light? Hurt Me broke the US charts, made iTunes’ single of the week. Easy To Love and Mace Spray were indie radio staples; Dark Storm an iTunes #1. AIR and APRA nominations were lavished for records and songwriting.

Meanwhile in the live arena, maybe you’ve been shaken by The Jezabels’ cocktail of power and elegance, at one of their sold out headline shows around the world, or at any number of festivals that left critics gasping, from Oz inkies to UK glossies to Austin’s SXSW:

“Commanding…epic…brilliant…menacing…purring, roaring, soaring… intellectual ferocity…pyromaniac intensity…imagination and emotional rawness…thundering…threatening…exuberant rock’n’roll swagger…”

So much for peeking through the keyhole. With Prisoner, their debut album, The Jezabels are released at last.

“We love a bit of drama,” firebrand singer Hayley Mary makes clear from the outset. “The EP trilogy was practical as well as conceptual on our part. It helped shaped us internally, as well as how we were perceived.

“The themes we got to develop, the aesthetic of the design… they helped establish our world, our business, our creative realm. It was nice to feel like we were protected within the force field of the trilogy.”

In the force field of their hearts and minds, Hayley Mary and keyboard player Heather Shannon were The Jezabels long before they left the coastal paradise of Byron Bay for the bright lights and dark shadows of Sydney in 2006.

Guitarist Sam Lockwood recognised them in the corridors of learning. History. English. Gender. Rock. He signed them up for a band competition, conjured drummer Nik Kaloper from the mist. The battle was won. The first of many.

“It was a combination of four individual desires to play music and taking whatever opportunities we could find — which happened to be each other,” says Hayley. “From there the process has pretty much been one of reconciling musical differences. But we’re getting closer.”

Prisoner is a panoramic study of tension and emancipation, from the echoing stone cathedral of the title track to the sun-blasted morning of the first single, Endless Summer; from the cloistered atmospherics of the instrumental interlude, Austerlitz, to the chiming and climbing pop of Deep Wide Ocean and the quiet reflecting pool of Peace of Mind.

Like the EP trilogy, Prisoner was recorded during stolen hours by Sydney producer Lachlan Mitchell, whose passion for glittering pop divas and his nocturnal gig in blood-guzzling black metal band Nazxul helped define The Jezabels’ polarities of grandiose theatrics and gothic intensity.

“I was always obsessed with that whole Brontë-esque gothic melodramatic thing Kate Bush did,” Hayley says. “I love the performance aspect of people like Freddie Mercury, David Bowie and Cyndi Lauper.

“Nik is obsessed with metal. He’s a perpetual ball of rhythm. He needs to drum so he doesn’t flip out. Heather is a classical pianist who has the advantage of not really knowing the rules of rock. Sam is the earthing element. He likes organic country-folk so he balances that theatrical, over- the-top, almost ‘80s thing we have…

“Between us it gets very intense but also very dynamic and awesome. There’s always someone with a great idea that you would never think of yourself.”

Between big ideas and spectacular hooks, dynamic and awesome is about right. The ecstatically swelling melody of Long Highway and stately grace and sky bound chorus of Rosebud bring immediate rewards, but between layers of sound and meaning, Prisoner takes time to fully reveal itself.

“The lyrics are set out as a letter to a prisoner,” Hayley says. “I’m interested in the idea of your personal role in your own oppression. To a certain extent the album explores the idea of looking at yourself as a prisoner and asking about the reasons for that. Are they external or are they internal?”

Perhaps related is the fact that The Jezabels have chosen to remain an independent entity for their debut album — in spite of a virtual stampede of label interests.

“The team we’ve worked with showed faith in us from the first show, from management to production to design,” says Hayley. “That’s a valuable thing, to have this internal strength of knowing it’s us against the world.”

World be warned. Prisoner is loose.
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
Yukon Blonde is: Jeff Innes (Guitar, Vocals), Brandon Scott (Guitar, Vocals), Graham Jones (Drums, Vocals). Old friends of long stretches of highway and sleeping on floors, the band set-out, in the fall of 09, for a 37-date tour across Canada including POP Montreal, Halifax POP Explosion and CMJ, picking up rave reviews along the way. The tour ended - almost two months later - with a triumphant return to their original home town of Kelowna on November 8th 2009. The success of the EP, the tour, and the festivals attracted the attention of Bumstead Records (k.d. lang, Two Hours Traffic, The Trews) who is now set to release the remaining 10 songs as Yukon Blonde's self-titled debut LP on February 9th 2010 across North America.
Venue Information:
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY, 10003
http://www.websterhall.com/