The self-titled EP Jackie Zealous from Jackie Zealous is an interesting collection of jangly pop, Dave Fridmann-ish buzzes and a gentle breezy delivery.
“Talk It” has some strong California influences in a Best Coast kind of way, both in the melody and chime-y guitar tones. The clean vocal and guitar tones contrast interestingly with the sloshy drum tones. The song is a quick step in and out, leaving almost quickly as it entered.
“Lucky Girls, Lucky Boys” features some Beatle-y vocal stylings and chords over an easy shuffle beat. The jangle-pop of the song has some nice divisions between verse, chorus and a harmonized bridge. The build is good, the guitar solos and countermelodies inspired, and the melody is catchy.
California continues the jangle-pop influence over a surf rock beat. There are some Foxygen influences and the openness of the chorus is a fantastic contrast to the busier nature of the verse. Like the first song, it’s a quick song and it would be nice to hear a bit more development. “I Feel It” is a dreamy haze-y psychedelic song that injects some fuzzed out guitars and tambourine hits that add some grit. Again here, the song is short but this time it feels very well fleshed out and complete in each section.
“If You Please” starts stripped down with only electric guitar, voices and a faint sizzle cymbal before the band drops in after the first chorus. Although the additional layer of instruments works, the energy level stays pretty similar, never really taking off until the driving guitar solo near the end.
“Saviors” closes the EP with an M. Ward-like acoustic number complete with distant backing vocals. The chord changes are interesting and the song has a dream like quality with the vocals washed out in reverb, and only light percussion finding its way through. It’s gentle and floats along peacefully.
Overall, the EP is very pleasant, the melodies gentle and pop-like, but it would be nice to hear a bit more energy from the band. Some of the mixing keeps the propulsion of bass and drums down in the mix, and it would be nice to add a bit of edge to the songs. That being said, when the band strips the songs down as they do on the final two numbers, they tend to flicker the brightest. It’s a gentle and unassuming journey throughout the EP, like staring off into the gentle waves of the Pacific as they lap up over the beach.
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