The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

The Juliets: The Juliets (2010)

Bandcamp sigue dándonos sorpresas continuamente. La última es The Juliets, una banda norteamericana de Detroit que tiene todos los visos de sonar a europea, y concretamente a británica. Su sonido es un Pop delicado y alambicado, lleno de arreglitos, de pianos, violines, orquestaciones, percusiones imprevistas… todo un arsenal de detalles que hacen de la escucha de su álbum homónimo toda una experiencia auténticamente reveladora e interesante al mismo tiempo. A medio camino entre The Left Banke, The Auteurs y el Chamber-Pop, la banda de Jeremy Freer es todo un descubrimiento. Además, para descubrirlos, tú pones el precio…

The Juliets – The Juliets (2010)

“It may be hyperbolic to apply the term “supergroup” to a band like The Juliets, but there’s an impressive array of talent gathered here. Comprising members of some prominent Detroit pop acts, the group manages to distill the best elements from their various backgrounds and forge it into an album that speaks for itself.
Those who are familiar with Secret Chorus, Freer’s 2007 debut, will find plenty of recognizable signposts in The Juliets, including front man Jeremy Freer’s lyrical preoccupation with eking love and beauty out of grim or just plain mundane circumstances. Although he maintains principal songwriting duties, a fair amount of credit is due to drummer/producer Scott Masson, the driving creative force behind pop powerhouse Office. Certain moments throughout the record — the handclaps over the chorus in “The Letter,” the multilayered vocals in “Streets of Gold” — make the songs sound like stripped-down second cousins to “Double-Penetrate the Market” or “Nobody Knows You” off 2009’s Mecca. The two have collaborated on many occasions, and their comfort in each other’s presence is evident in the way the album blends their distinct aesthetic approaches.
Rounding out the lineup are violinist Sarah Meyers and cellist Kaylan Mitchell, the latter with an indie rock CV that’s actually too big to fit on the internet. Their adaptability plays a crucial role in helping The Juliets stand out amidst a sea of similar acts. Other orchestral pop artists display an ear for arrangement, but often fail to deliver the necessary tension to sustain listener engagement for an entire album. Meyers and Mitchell, however, are able to really grasp the contradictions at the heart of these songs, and they are as successful at making physical the album’s prettiness as they are at uncovering its darker corners. The result is a lush, textured chamber pop record that still — well, rocks.
“Sunday Song” provides an illustration of how The Juliets balance fragility and grandiosity. There’s a sense of apprehension roiling beneath both Freer’s keyboard and the simple two-note beat that Mitchell plucks from her cello. When the pre-chorus explodes with Masson’s thundering drum burst and a twist of distorted guitar, you barely have time to get your bearings before it recedes back into the somber chorus. “Like a Parade,” follows a similar quiet-loud dynamic, but aims at a more ethereal effect. Meyers and Masson construct a swaying, maritime waltz that bursts into a soaring, hopeful refrain. While the songs on Secret Chorus often reflected an ambivalence towards the hallmarks of human progress — urbanization, technology, religion — “Like a Parade” sharpens that sense of uncertainty. The city is a home to countless lost souls who scurry about “Covering up broken love/ With perfectly foolish delight,” yet there is an undeniable beauty to be found there beneath the streetlights for those dedicated enough to look. Where the album succeeds best is in locating those pinpricks of the divine scattered among the shards and debris.
However, where it occasionally goes awry is when Freer waxes too sappy, like in the otherwise charming “This Just In,” with its cumbersome refrain, “Unless they say at five o’clock/ Baby I love you more than a lot.” Their occasional excursions into electronic territory, such as the breakdown of “Evolved Into” and “Who needs Astrology?”, aren’t unpleasant, but they sound a little dated and seem somewhat out of place here. Despite these shortcomings, The Juliets’ debut is a lively and cohesive record that, unlike many collaborations between established musicians, lives up to the potential that the group has on paper. Here’s hoping the principal players can find enough time in the midst of their other projects to deliver a follow-up somewhere down the line” (

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11 noviembre, 2010 Posted by | The Juliets | Deja un comentario


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