Electric Jackal is a project led by James Doherty, a multi-instrumentalist and producer working out of South London. Originally a film-maker, Doherty dabbed in composing and producing music which is instrumental in him branching off into Electric Jackal territory. Other than that, Doherty’s identity is shrouded in mystery. According to the artist, he wears a mask for the benefit of others. Perhaps the effort is saying he is putting his music first but whatever the statement, the jackal mask, which is shiny coal black and mysterious is definitely cool. His music is the definition of cool with chill electronica locked in with an irresistible indie rock vibe.
He explains his creative process as putting the music first and then comes the lyrics. He says he has an idea of what a song feels like it’s about and works from there.
With his latest EP entitled Strange Occurrences, he has really arrived with a signature sound inspired by the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Talking Heads. A melding of melodic pop hooks and electronica, Strange Occurrences is a memorable EP with a whole lot of imaginative scope.
Right from the start, Strange Occurrences hooks with layered bouncy beats on “Islands,” where the synths provide an ambient appeal. Airy guitars pivot on this track. Upbeat and eccentric indie rock feels are buoyed by chill electronic beats. The vocals are impassioned with the lyrics sung with gusto.
On “Clockwork,” a demanding drumming beat set up the rhythms sections towards the start of this song. Reverberating guitar riffs fills the jaunty tune. The beat is insanely fast. The synths are powerful and energized accompanied with upbeat and catchy rhythms.
Following is “Flesh & Bones,” where pulsating rhythms on the bass line produces a hypnotic sound. Wild and melodic guitars follow up on the melee. The bass lines are moody and provide a steady foundation for the guitars. The guitars are soaring, blending together a great atmospheric cadence.
On the closer “Be Still,” ringing and bleeps automatically register at the start of this track. The song is tinged with melancholy. A moody and haunting sound pervades layered with distilled reveries wrapped up in a grave and somber sound. The synths are ambient as well.
Doherty definitely delivers on this release. With vocals that are packed with attitude and flair, the lyrics are spewed out passionately. There is a lot of theatrics to the singing demonstrating his showmanship with embellishments. He is greatly entertaining on this record.
Tying in electronic soundscapes with an indie rock vibe, Doherty’s sound goes on to incorporate his influences as well as absorbing a cadence that is all this own. Layered with bouncy beats and airy guitars, Strange Occurrences is a solid endeavor that is also repeat worthy. Be sure you have a listen today!
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