I kinda sorta heard of Jaye Jayle before but basically went into my first show of theirs as a complete newbie. They were opening for Pelican last fall with Emma Ruth Rundle accompanying the live band and, while nothing could top the Chicago instrumentalists monolithic performance, they held their own in a completely different, resounding way.
When the first single “Ode To Betsy” off the soon-to-be-released No Path and Other Unholy Trails dropped in April, I was immediately hooked. Never mind the already haunting live performance I had witnessed barely a year before, Jaye Jayle as a recorded entity was still a revelation.
Evan Patterson’s voice and style will no doubt draw the inevitable comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave but as a band, Jaye Jayle strive for more and this latest release proves that.
Beginning with the one-two punch of “No Trail: Path One” and “No Trail: Path Two”, it’s clear that what’s to come will be nothing short of epic. “Accepting” seductively meanders in next until Drew Miller’s saxophone drops turning the track into something out of an ’80’s classic tune. INXS especially comes to mind and the solo at the end of “Mediate”.
Then “As Soon As Night” comes in and the angelic Emma Ruth Rundle plays the perfect contrast to Patterson’s soulful cries when this George Throrgood-style riff comes in to take the song somewhere else completely. Between this and “Accepting”, there’s this Streets Of Fire/Ry Cooder feel that permeates the album and, if you know anything at all about that flick/artist, then you know that’s right up our alley.
“Cemetery Rain” sonically goes somewhere else entirely, building off an unholy vibe that’s creepy yet moving when “Marry Us” shifts gears once again with a reverb-soaked guitar line playing second fiddle to Patterson and Rundle switching off vocally yet again in perfect harmony.
“Low Again Street” has an almost war drum-style thump coming from Neal Argabright, eventually culminating as Miller’s sax pops up once again on this track and syncs up so perfectly with a guitar attack provided by Patterson, Rundle, and Corey Smith before closing the album soaked in modern noir.
You can check out Jaye Jayle’s other releases by clicking here and if you’re really into what Patterson has to offer then check out his other band, Young Widows, and their latest release which is a collection of stand alone singles, split releases, b-sides, and rare stuff called DECAYED: Ten Years of Cities, Wounds, Lightness, and Pain here and available now.
No Trail and Other Unholy Paths is out through Sargent House on June 29th. You can get your copy by pre-ordering here. For the latest on Jaye Jayle, including tour dates for the just announced fall tour with label buddy Emma Ruth Rundle, head here.