Prisoner by The Jezabels on Apple Music

15 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Jezabels’ frontwoman, Hayley Mary, is a powerhouse vocalist; at her strongest moments, Kate Bush and Glasser’s Cameron Mesirow come to mind. There’s no bass, so the guitar and percussion dovetail into a solid rhythmic foundation, while ‘80s-flavored keyboards (think Simple Minds) billow on anthemic gusts of melancholy and melodrama. The slightly retro-leaning pop foursome from Sydney, Australia, has a way with startlingly catchy melodies and choruses, though The Jezabels’ artful, panoramic sound can also be beautifully evocative and haunting. The lead single, “Endless Summer,” begs for radio play with its stadium-sized guitar washes and Mary’s forceful intonation hinting at wistful balladry. It’s too energetic to be a ballad but has a similar emotional pull. “Rosebud” feels like one of those Cranberries or Sinead O’Connor songs that were once every rocker’s guilty pleasures. This collection (The Jezabels’ debut full-length) seeps into listeners’ musical id with little fanfare, as stealthy as dew settling on grass. Discovering the life force in The Jezabels’ deceptively modest sparkle is a delight.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Jezabels’ frontwoman, Hayley Mary, is a powerhouse vocalist; at her strongest moments, Kate Bush and Glasser’s Cameron Mesirow come to mind. There’s no bass, so the guitar and percussion dovetail into a solid rhythmic foundation, while ‘80s-flavored keyboards (think Simple Minds) billow on anthemic gusts of melancholy and melodrama. The slightly retro-leaning pop foursome from Sydney, Australia, has a way with startlingly catchy melodies and choruses, though The Jezabels’ artful, panoramic sound can also be beautifully evocative and haunting. The lead single, “Endless Summer,” begs for radio play with its stadium-sized guitar washes and Mary’s forceful intonation hinting at wistful balladry. It’s too energetic to be a ballad but has a similar emotional pull. “Rosebud” feels like one of those Cranberries or Sinead O’Connor songs that were once every rocker’s guilty pleasures. This collection (The Jezabels’ debut full-length) seeps into listeners’ musical id with little fanfare, as stealthy as dew settling on grass. Discovering the life force in The Jezabels’ deceptively modest sparkle is a delight.

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About The Jezabels

Australian quartet the Jezabels shimmer with their anthemic, empowering approach to indie pop. Comprising singer Hayley Mary, guitarist Samuel Lockwood, pianist/keyboardist Heather Shannon, and drummer Nik Kaloper, the group formed in 2007 after meeting at the University of Sydney, though Mary and Lockwood knew each other previously, having both grown up in Byron Bay. Taking a socially aware stance, the band name derived from Mary's perspective that Bible character Jezebel was misunderstood or misrepresented. Their first musical offering came in the form of an EP trilogy, beginning with 2009's The Man Is Dead and She's So Hard, rounded out a year later with Dark Storm. Propelled by a surprising combination of pop hooks and epic, moody energy, The Man Is Dead landed on the CMJ Top 200 chart in summer 2009, the first of many accolades for the band: by 2010, She's So Hard helped the band net two Independent Music Awards nods; the song "Hurt Me" was featured as song of the week in Australia, and Tegan and Sara tapped the quartet to open for them on their spring tour down under. Full-length debut Prisoner arrived digitally the next fall, with Rolling Stone spotlighting the track "Trycolour." Mom + Pop issued the physical version of Prisoner in early 2012, just in time for the band's main-stage set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In 2014, the Jezabels returned with Brink, which earned enthusiastic reviews and rose to number two on the Australian album charts. February 2016 saw the release of the band's third full-length album, Synthia, but shortly before the album arrived, the Jezabels announced they were canceling all touring while Heather Shannon was in treatment for a rare form of ovarian cancer. ~ Chrysta Cherrie

  • ORIGIN
    Sydney, Australia
  • FORMED
    2007

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