Jakalope return

Canadian band Jakalope have returned from a long absence with a new vocalist and a very new sound. The band was originally an industrial-pop hybrid, the brainchild of Dave Olgilvie (Skinny Puppy) featuring lovely, if reedy vocalist Katie B. Their first album, It Dreams was one of Softsynth’s favourites in recent memory, even after six years it still features heavily on the Softsynth iPod. The follow-up, Born 4, was a dreadful mess, a rock wannabe that jettisoned the electronic side of the band. After that album justifiably went nowhere Katie B left the band and that seemed to be it; we were thinking of doing a “Bands we miss” tribute to them when we got wind some months ago they were back in the studio with a new singer, the equally lovely, Chrystal Leigh, who bolsters said loveliness with a more mature set of pipes and she brings some cojones to the project that Katie B (who is now a country artist known as Katie Rox) simply couldn’t.

We’re now seeing the results of the new collaboration and once again, they have taken a huge left turn. From the Trent Reznor-involved industrial-flecked debut, to the bloated rock of the second album, to what can only be described as a dance-pop third album, the forthcoming Things That Go Jump in the Night, Olgilvie and co. certainly do like to keep us guessing. On their Myspace page, the band have shared some of the tracks that mark the new Jakalope 2.0, and it’s a mixed, if interesting bag. Below you will find a video for lead single “Witness” and a studio shot of “aka Cupcake”. We’re quite digging the latter, not yet sure about the former. We won’t lie, we already miss the spooky side of the band. Their early videos had a delightfully creepy quality to them, as did even the intro page to their web site. Now, despite the vampire suggestion of the new video this ain’t the creepy side of the band, this is something more welcoming, brighter and cheerier. Normally we are not inclined to the brighter and cheerier, but we are holding off on judging until we hear the full product. It’s sure nice to see the electronics back in full force and we really love Leigh’s voice and sense of musicianship, but the balance has swung so far in one direction it’s jarring. Tracks like “Combine” and the haunting “Baby Blue” are encouraging though. This is one of those cases of judging the new work on what it is as opposed on what the band used to be (a comparison we are also trying to avoid making when considering the new, upcoming album from Huski but that’s for another post); when we do the former this stuff is not half bad, when we do the latter we’re unfairly comparing apples and oranges. We’re anxious to hear the new product either way and bottom line, it’s awful nice to see then back…

Watch: Witness

Watch: aka Cupcake

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One Response to “Jakalope return”

  1. I have to admit as well It Dreams was It, when i first heard them in 2005 with “Feel It”…I was hooked then Born4 came out and I due to my rock side I feel in love with that album as well, I really don’t know how im going to feel until I get the new record in my hands, I can only hope that they stick to stuff like “Witness” and “delicious” or even “Turn Back” because honestly stuff like “AKA Cupcake” and “baby blue” just aint doing it for me. I need INDUSTRIAL!!!!!

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