Creeper’s recent single Poisoned Heart drew comparisons with legendary Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave, largely thanks to frontman Will Gould’s use of baritone. Those looking for other, more extensive examples of Cave’s influence could do a lot worse than checking out Prisyn, the latest album by Jaye Jayle – one of the many musical projects from Louisville, Kentucky musician Evan Patterson.
Jaye Jayle’s sound is hard to define. Some might call it modern blues, given its sonic explorations of the American landscape, recorded during three months of touring the United States.This process meant the lyrics were often inspired by markedly different terrain than the music compositions, resulting in some rather discordant songs.
The likes of A Cold Wind and Guntime captivate, nevertheless, thanks to their loose, woozy, dream-like quality. Evan himself had envisioned Iggy Pop might sing these songs, though it’s Nick Cave’s influence you can hear most clearly – not just in the depth of Evan’s voice, but in the dark obliqueness brooding boldly at the fore.
This similarity is most explicit on The River Spree, which finds Evan in Berlin (‘Berlin… that’s what I’m in’), name-checking David Bowie and the aforementioned Iggy. These figures of familiarity are useful to be able to have and hold on to, because there are few easy ways through these 10 tracks. Neither the music, which is chilly and electronic, nor the vocals, which prioritise poetry over melody, make for the most accessible of listens. This could turn some off, but may also yield profound rewards for the patient listener.
This project began as the soundtrack to an art show, and was inspired by vistas streaming past windows on interminably long drives, so none of this was meant to be easy to enjoy. It’s music to accompany contemplative walks, light skies and dark moods. It’s hard work, but it will work on you.
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