This The Jezabels article was written by Adam Mallaby, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Macon Oxley. Lead photo by Cybele Malinowski
The Jezabels return after an eighteen-month writing and recording stint away from the gig circuit with ‘Synthia’ – their third LP and follow-up to 2014’s ‘The Brink’.
Since 2007, the Australian quartet have been nurturing their approach to indie pop, with vocalist Hayley Mary saying in recent interviews that she feels the lyrics and meaning behind the words have been misunderstood.
While Hayley announces that ‘Synthia’ is an LP to celebrate how it feels to be a woman, the lyrics tell a different story. On the frantic ‘My Love is My Disease’ she growls about someone who “chains me here to my bed”. Later, on ‘Flowers in the Attic’, which is reminiscent of the torturous Virginia Andrews novel, Hayley is over-the-top apologetic: “I’m just your puppy dog/I never meant to let you down.”
Opener ‘Stand and Deliver’ (no, it’s not a cover of Adam and the Ants) is by far the stand-out track. It starts with a two-minute intergalactic intro, which wouldn’t sound out of place on Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Virgin Suicides,’ building up to Samuel Lockwood’s anthemic guitars, and ending with Mary’s Kate Bush wails of “come and give your bitch a kiss.”
The Jezabels chose to work once again with their long-time producer Lachlan Mitchell, giving ‘Synthia’ a meticulous quality. And after previous live performances at the likes of Coachella and Glastonbury, it’s clear that the tracks will deliver crowd-pleasing sounds.
Other big nods go to the scratchy synth and indie pop of ‘Unnatural’ and ‘Pleasure Drive’ with its empowering, in-control feel coupled with Mary’s purrs that she was “born to rock” while “getting undressed.” ‘Smile’ sounds sweet but offers no real pleasure or excitement, while ‘Stamina’ ends the LP like a soft-close IKEA kitchen drawer.
The first official single from the LP is to be announced, but the band have released an epic six-minute video for ‘Come Alive’ – their mathematical guitar-laden track, which pulls the listener in several directions.
‘Synthia’ is out on the 12th February via Dine Alone Records.