Nothing synthetic as The Jezabels – Synthia floats on authenticity
The Jezabels, third album Synthia floats with waves of sound rather than the tolling crash of drum and cymbal. Australian indie-band The Jezabels have built a following that grows as the sound seeps through the ether of your consciousness. The Brink, aptly titled second album as surrounded by the turmoil of illness and dislocation.
Why Synthia? As Hayley Mary describes in huge pictures it is the fusing of classics with electronica. The twinning of the Greek Goddess of the moon and synth pop-goddess Cyndi Lauper. The gendered concept of society is central to the band balanced with Hayley and Heather joining up with Sam and Nik and the music concept rock is totally male and yes feminine synthetic!
The vocals are Hayley’s gentle, cajoling with an edge do not be deceived this ethereal synth-pop with ragged teeth. Combining with the arsenal of keyboards that Heather manipulates so that the black and white keys lay a foundation of tones for the vocals to cascade through. Adding layers of tones are the men Sam on guitar and the drums supplied by Nick giving the music a feel of direction, in reality it is keys and vocals that dictate the music from the Jezabels. The sound produced has an organic, fluid, natural feel. This studio album has the breath of outdoors, wide space and fresh re-vitalising air. Opening with Stand and Deliver, creates an atmosphere of stepping out of reality and into Synthia’s new reality. It opens in a dream-like musical mist that opens up with drums and spoken vocals that work with an innocence this is not a masculine Highwayman but a something far more complicated. Unnatural is synthesizer driven, the words almost spoken and drumming takes second place. The lyrics drive through and dominate you have to take notice as the tempo and passion builds. This creates a movement of the music and a shape that is controlled but at the same time free-form.
Closing with Stamina seven minutes of musical drama. Opening with rippling guitar chords, vocals that carry you so that you find Stamina from the experience of the album that is Synthia. This exploration of women in the world of music, is a confident telling of the truth. Modern music is about the lyric, passion and doesn’t need to be shouted about, screamed or have loud driving riffs to get the message across. This is a feminine concept album progressive without the rock taking up the battle cry for women to stand-up and be heard, be yourselves. The Jezabels, Synthia is hooked in indie-pop, rooted in folk and challenging the perceived masculinity of rock with a feminine alternative.
All that said overall for me the album lacks that automatic feet tapping response. The music at times drifts on a sea of melody without a hard focus; steal a little bit of rock definition and this would have been up there with the stars of 2016 releases.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
The Jezabels – Synthia Released on February 12th – To Purchase CD or Vinyl HERE
- Stand And Deliver
- My Love Is My Disease
- A Message From My Mothers Passed
- Come Alive
- Pleasure Drive
- Flowers In The Attic
- If Ya Want Me
The Jezabels’ scheduled world tour has been postponed until further notice due to the health of keyboardist Heather Shannon and the decision by the group not to tour without the full band. HERE Bluesdoodles send our thoughts and get well wishes to Heather.
Australian quartet’s latest single ‘Pleasure Drive’, sees frontwoman Hayley Mary, and a diner full of women, overcome by an enchanting power which sees them take control back from their domineering partners.