Aussie indie rock

Dark storms, hard women and dead men. Listen to The Jezabels and it’s clear they do love a bit of melodrama, but these ain’t no town-square goths.

Formed in Sydney in 2007, the group are a tricky thing to describe, even by their members. We caught guitarist Sam Lockwood as they went through customs: “I find it quite hard to tell people I meet. I don’t know what we would be. I like soft music while Nik [Kaloper, drums] likes heavy metal. We all just write together.”

It meshes, with pianist Heather Shannon and vocalist Hayley Mary completing the dynamic four-piece, the latter’s arresting range leading a layered sound which soothes and shocks in equal measure. “Hayley’s brilliant,” Sam continues. “Without her lyrics we’re at risk of sounding like an airport lounge soundtrack!”

With three hugely popular EPs in the bag, many are desperate for a debut album. “We’re getting closer and closer to finishing it. It’s sounding really nice, just nice instrumentation and strings. Structured, unified. It feels almost like our second album due to the amount of experience we’ve had in the studio.”

It’s been a whirlwind four years for the group, with constant touring and writing starting to pay off: “We don’t have to work now. It’s a big relief, but all the ‘leisure time’ goes toward the band. I don’t get to see my friends much. But hey, bands with too much time indulge themselves. It’s good to have a push.”

So what are The Jezabels bringing to 2011’s musical plate? “Alternative music that sounds really nice; that’s what we’ve always wanted to achieve. Sure you can make alternative music by being all distorted but you can actually just be serious about your music and still sound good.”

Words by Sam Walker

What: Alt-indie, pop rock
Where: Sydney, Australia
Unique Fact: They nearly hired a Caribbean percussionist before finding their drummer.
Get 3 Songs: ‘Disco Biscuit Love’, ‘Unmarked Helicopters’, ‘Mace Spray’


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