Album review: The Jezabels – Synthia
Australian indie rockers, The Jezabels, will release their third LP next week in a bittersweet fashion. Synthia will be released as the band’s keyboardist, Heather Shannon, undergoes treatment for ovarian cancer.
From the first beat of opening track ‘Stand and Deliver’, you are able to feel the personal journey this album is about to take you on. It’s one of the most powerful album openers as it begins ever-so-softly, almost happily welcoming you into its world. The two-minute instrumental really draws you in, and just when you think the song couldn’t sound any more beautiful, Hayley Mary’s vocals begin and you wonder how on earth it’s possible for something to be harrowing and peaceful at the same time.
‘My Love Is My Disease’ dives into a deeper and faster melody, with a heavy focus on the drums which provides a layer of strength and passion. It speaks volumes about just how personal this record is for them, and you begin to feel that empowerment-of-women theme that the four-piece like to project.
The layout of songs is structured succinctly, with each track flowing softly onto the next. Yet there’s still this unique highlight of every song as its own masterpiece.
‘Pleasure Drive’ is the album highlight, perfectly combining soft synth with the heavier drums and Hayley Mary’s incredible vocal range; from deep and soulful to high and passionate. Lacking the prior ghoulish feel, this song is triumphant in its ability to uplift and motivate you to take your own journey, or go along on the one that has been so present throughout the record.
End track, ‘Stamina’, is a salute to the strength and, indeed, stamina that has led up to this final, cathartic few minutes. It gives a final nod to the celebration of females yet is uniquely androgynous in its vibe, toying with soft harmonics and stoic, solid percussions.
Especially in light of personal circumstances, Synthia is a well-produced, completely succinct record that involves many spooky, haunting and beautiful layers.
At this time, The Jezabels have postponed their world tour. We wish Heather Shannon a safe and speedy recovery. Synthia is released on 12 February.
Review by Annastasia Robertson.