Jackalico is a solo project but not the artist's first venture into music. He is also the bassist and vocalist for the band Jack and JukeBok. It’s not that abnormal to have a solo project if you are in a band but I would say it’s relatively rare that it’s a sound this unique and quite like a full band within itself.
Jackalico’s release Vermont is a wonderful off-kilter release that mixes palatable melodies with experimental flirtation. Some of the tones, textures and transitions were unexpected in a good way.
He opens with “Stopsign Is An Omen” which is atmospheric, ethereal, catchy and also a bit dark. The vocals are covered in a good amount of reverb and almost float away. Around the one-minute-mark is where he creates a wonderful bubble of sound. It literally has a water bubble feel to it that has to be heard to be fully understood. Great opener.
“One Horse Town” has tinges of the band Modest Mouse but perhaps more atmospheric. Vocal harmonies intersect with each other and are layered against other dream-like elements. He sings, “And I bled every source around me / Not a toll left / Not a soul in sight.” The song feels light and exudes a joyous vibe that it slightly blurry which makes it ambiguous.
“Why A Heart Burns” felt a little more straightforward and singer/songwriter like to me. There are some inspired moments but not quite as unique sounding as the previous songs. “A Skunk Walked By” however is quite ambitious combining jazzy drums with a section that is complete ambience. “A Skunk Walked By” goes in a couple of very interesting directions. The highlight to me was “Our Last Day As Brothers.” The eight-plus-minute song was the most emotionally resonant to me. Most of which comes from the vocals.
My only complaint is that I thought the mixing in general could be slightly better at times. For example the part where he rocks out at the end “Our Last Day As Brothers” could have used separation and better EQ adjustments.
Overall, this is a great EP. Jackalico has a good amount of talent in the technical and creative department. Pick this one up.
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