Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter
From page 15 of Classic Rock Magazine June 2011
country roots and drone meta l friends...
EvER SINCE Marble Son , the trippy fourth album from Seattle-based band Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, arrived at Classic Rock it has become an instant earworm. Not only does Sykes’s singing draw favourable comparison to vocalists like Grace Slick and Lydia Pense, but also in guitarist Phil Wandscher (co-founder of Whiskeytown with Ryan Adams) she has the perfect foil, a musician with an attack that will have lovers of Blue Cheer and Quicksilver Messenger Service punching the air.
FOR FANS OF... Often bracketed with LA’s Southern Lord school of sonic chaos, JS&TSH have indeed hung out with drone metal bands Sunn O))), Boris, Earth and Canadian psycho heavies Black Mountain, but they’ve constructed a sound developed in their own emotional darkroom.
Speaking to Classic Rock , Sykes talks of the “turbulence and heart-on-the-line connection” that is stamped on Marble Son , successor to the acclaimed 2007 album Like Love Lust And The Open Halls Of The Soul . “ Marble Son was made during a weird time,” she says. “I split with Phil after 10 years as a couple and then his father died. Things unfolded, and that personal evolution manifested itself on this album.”
Away from songwriting, Sykes is an accomplished visual
photography of the burlesque and bizarre is rated in France, where it has appeared in style magazines like Vice .
Raised in New York State, on Janis Joplin, Wanda Jackson and the Velvet Underground, Sykes insists that her band “are not an anachronism; we’re as valid and modern as anyone, only not superficially so. What we all share is a love of underground music, raw excitement and guitars. They are on this album.” They’re not mainstream, nor are they stand-offish. “We enjoyed the Altar project, collaborating with Boris and Sunn O))), but any further link is pointless and out of context. There’s a lot of psych folk in what we do, yet we’ve been called alt.country. We aren’t.” Sykes, who is blessed with a husky voice and a vocal range that seeps out of the mix like morning mist in the desert, says she “likes to delve deep. Great music isn’t always born out of depression, but better that than hearing about artists who got cleaned up and went into rehab. Day-to-day life can be dark, so I make sure I have a nap before I put it all down – a coupla hours, or a week-long nap. Then I get my perspective.” Jesse describes Seattle as, “a small town where bands bump along. We’ve shared cigarettes and girlfriends with the Fleet Foxes but I doubt we’ll share their fame. I don’t understand how that works. The best attitude is: do your own thing; don’t have too many expectations; concentrate on creating great music. We’ve only just started.” mB Marble Son is available now on Fargo Records.