11 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Marble Son is where Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter shake the alt-country label and get heavy. Beginning with the epic-length “Hushed By Devotion,” which starts lush and spooky and ends in an extended Zep-like breakdown, the album is moody, dark, and psychedelic. Fusing Southern rock with sludgy Northwest riffs the Seattle band creates a shadowy and mysterious sonic landscape that is reinforced by Sykes’ cryptic lyrics and riveting vocals. Even at its most delicate and lovely her voice can still be unnerving. The band maintains a hard edge on spacious and textured ballads like “Wooden Roses,” “Be It Me, or Be It None,” and the title track, as well as on the sprawling psych rockers “Ceiling’s High,” “Come to Mary,” and “Your Own Kind.” “Pleasuring the Divine” and “Weight of Cancer,” two of the more dynamic tunes, serve as showpieces for co-songwriter and guitarist Phil Wandscher, who plays a wealth of stunning guitar on the album. The sheer variety of tones he achieves is a pleasure. He sounds gritty, crunchy, crystal-clear, or distorted beyond recognition, often all on the same song.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Marble Son is where Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter shake the alt-country label and get heavy. Beginning with the epic-length “Hushed By Devotion,” which starts lush and spooky and ends in an extended Zep-like breakdown, the album is moody, dark, and psychedelic. Fusing Southern rock with sludgy Northwest riffs the Seattle band creates a shadowy and mysterious sonic landscape that is reinforced by Sykes’ cryptic lyrics and riveting vocals. Even at its most delicate and lovely her voice can still be unnerving. The band maintains a hard edge on spacious and textured ballads like “Wooden Roses,” “Be It Me, or Be It None,” and the title track, as well as on the sprawling psych rockers “Ceiling’s High,” “Come to Mary,” and “Your Own Kind.” “Pleasuring the Divine” and “Weight of Cancer,” two of the more dynamic tunes, serve as showpieces for co-songwriter and guitarist Phil Wandscher, who plays a wealth of stunning guitar on the album. The sheer variety of tones he achieves is a pleasure. He sounds gritty, crunchy, crystal-clear, or distorted beyond recognition, often all on the same song.

TITLE TIME
8:24
4:15
4:33
4:41
4:26
4:23
5:20
6:04
3:52
6:39
5:34

About Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter

Formed from the ashes of two influential alternative country bands, Whiskeytown and Hominy, the duo of lead singer/guitarist Jesse Sykes and guitarist Phil Wandscher met in 1999 in Seattle's Hattie Hat bar. Sykes had just ended a relationship with Jim Sykes (her musical partner in the band Hominy) and had slowed her songwriting down, but a new seed sprouted when she met Wandscher. The pair began performing as a duo and received much praise, creating a slow buzz. The group eventually added drummer Kevin Warner, bassist Bill Herzog, and violinist Anne Marie Ruljancich. After entering the studio they recorded their debut release, Reckless Burning, which was released under the name Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter by Barsuk Records in April 2002. Over the next few years, the group shared the stage with Neko Case, Richard Buckner, and Mark Olson, among others. The group's second album, Oh, My Girl, came out two years later. Their third effort, 2007's Like, Love, Lust and the Open Halls of the Soul, introduced new drummer Eric Eagle, replacing Kevin Warner. Marble Son, co-produced by Sykes and Wandscher and recorded entirely in and around Seattle, appeared in 2011. It was also the group's first release for their own Parisian Records, after parting ways with Barsuk. ~ Jason MacNeil

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