The Jezabels are a Sydney outfit well regarded for their energetic live shows – and here we’ve got their debut record, a five-track EP which showcases their hyper-folk pop musings well. The opener Disco Biscuit Love chimes in with a Death Cab-esque stomp. The lyrics depict a love affair wrapped in the vapidities of today’s disenchanted youth – “I know he’s groovy, but he only loves you when he’s on pills”. What is strangely offputting here is that Hayley Mary begins this track singing in a register far too low to be comfortable, impeding her delivery – but fairly quickly this is forgotten when her crystalline hollering takes over come chorus time. This is good, punchy piano-driven pop thrills with enough musicality in the arrangements to keep close listeners happy. The skewy and bittersweet Old Little Girls could be mistaken for an outtake from Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love, and the best track is saved for last with the frenetic Unmarked Helicopters. This is all well written and played, but somehow lacking that undefinable element that leaps out and grabs you by the throat. Ah well, maybe with the full length record they’ll have more scope to explore this.
by Aidan Roberts