I love it when I get self-released material that’s good. It makes my day. I got into this “business” to help unknowns get known, and to support the little guys who don’t have the backing of major-label ad budgets. The debut EP from jacksonknife is solid indiepop/Americana, without a single skippable tune.
“Covered Ears” emphasizes Jeremy Kirkland’s nasal whine, with a sound somewhere between that dude from Blind Melon and Bob Dylan. No, that doesn’t sound beautiful. But it works with the strings in the background and the band’s hangdog sound. What makes this tune so interesting is the bouncy walk of the percussion in the background, which keeps the song moving right along. “The Morning” is more about the music, but it’s got the same kind of bounce. The production work by Kyle Johnson (Modest Mouse, The Hives) is evident here—the material is crisp and hyped, but the songwriting skill is not lost under the luster. As I said twice already, this is a bouncy EP: Light, sweet, and generally happy-sounding. A strong debut.