Jessica Jalbert sounds like: Memoryhouse, Warpaint, Camera Obscura, the soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides that never was.
Jessica Jalbert confronts death with such cool detachment and playfulness that you’d swear she knows something we don’t. Nearly all the songs on her latest LP Brother Loyola suggest she’s seen the light, and oh, it is sweet. The Edmonton native crafts serene pop melodies with keys, lazy electric guitar, cello and horns with a thick sheen of layered vocals. Despite the fertile instrumentation, the arrangements are minimalist — evoking 60s girl groups (Paris Green, Stupid Hollow) and the ethereal vibes of Memoryhouse or Warpaint (Oh Evening Colors).
Jalbert is rounded out by bandmates: Liam Trimble (guitar) Rene Wilson (keys, drums, bass) and Doug Hoyer (bass) who all serve as a rotating cast of local musicians from the Old Ugly camp that likely sleep on each other’s floors and finish each other’s sentences. This summer, Kuhrye-oo of Born Gold remixed her track Necromancy [necromancy: a form of magic used to summon spirits] in a haunting reincarnation of the original, resonating like hymnal chants splattered on a canvas of beats.