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Jessie and Layla

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Biography

Psychedelic music is not only psychedelic rock, psychedelic soul and psychedelic funk--it is also psychedelic folk-rock--and one of the most psychedelic-sounding folk-rock groups of the 21st century has been the Dublin, Ireland-based Jessie & Layla. The guitar-playing vocal duo is comprised of sisters Jessie and Layla Collins, whose trippy, hazy, lush approach to folk-rock owes a lot to the era that gave us the Summer of Love, Woodstock, flower power and Haight-Ashbury. Influences from the '60s and early '70s have had a major impact on Jessie & Layla's ethereal sound, including the Fairport Convention, the Strawbs, the late Sandy Denny, the Mamas & Papas and the Beatles (specifically, the Beatles during their White Album/Abbey Road/Magical Mystery Tour/Yellow Submarine period rather than the Beatles in the early to mid-'60s). But for all their '60s and early '70s worship, Jessica & Layla are not a carbon copy of that era. The Irish siblings also have their share of ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s influences; alternative pop-rock, shoegazer music and adult alternative have affected them as well, and their work also has some things in common with Lush and the Cardigans as well as the Bangles. Although both of the Collins Sisters were born and raised in Dublin, they haven't spent all of their lives on the Emerald Isle. Layla lived in Paris for a while, and Jessie spent some time in New York City. But both of them ended up moving back to their home town, and the 2000s found Jessie & Layla performing together frequently in the Irish capital. Jessie & Layla's debut album, Kinetic, was produced by Liam Mulvaney in Dublin in 2004 and was originally released on Rooster Records in 2005. After that, Jessie & Layla came to the attention of producer Mark Kramer's Second Shimmy label, which has been described as a reincarnation of Kramer's old label Shimmy Disc. Kramer digitally remastered Kinetic in 2006 and reissued the album on Second Shimmy in 2007. ~ Alex Henderson

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