House Cricks and Other Excuses to Get Out
Hawthorne Street Records
After releasing a series of seven-inch records, Evan Patterson’s solo vehicle Jaye Jayle has at last unveiled a comprehensive, complete record. While I certainly liked the idea of a collective group of singles being put together to form a complete album, for whatever reason this new offering feels like a vision fully realized. Spanning nine songs, House Cricks and Other Reasons to Get Out gives you seven new tunes along with two re-recorded (and somewhat rearranged) tracks from the previous series.
Before delving into my thoughts on this record, I must say that it is a bit ironic how I initially digested each song. It is my understanding that a chunk of these songs were written by Evan while spending time in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Coincidentally, I bought this album right before I headed west to… you guessed it: Sante Fe, New Mexico. Before leaving I made sure to quickly add the digital download to my iPod to ensure I’d get the chance to properly consume this record inside the same geographic location as it was created. Being familiar with the previously released music from Jaye Jayle clued me in that this brand of cinematic, folksy indie rock would only enhance my time in the desert, and as it turns out, I was right. I’m not saying that this is the only way to properly take in this album, but damn, it absolutely made my initial experience more than memorable.
After pressing play, the first thing I noticed was Patterson’s low, gruff voice, with a sort of narrative delivery reminiscent of some of Leonard Cohen‘s more recent work. For me, the vocals are what keep me coming back to this record. Where Young Widows is primarily driven by dynamic, post-hardcore guitar riffs and beefy, distorted bass lines, Jaye Jayle is a completely different animal as a much more vocally driven operation. No songs are technically complex with each one invoking a broad, cinematic experience.
For me, one of the qualities that makes Jaye Jayle so alluring is the mystery. What is the name about? What exactly is he talking about? Admittedly, I have no idea. What I do know is that this record plays out like a soundtrack set behind a couple of folks up to no good. Maybe burying a body in the desert. Maybe hatching a sinister plan. Who knows. There’s a dark, malevolent overtone that broods through the majority of the album that I absolutely love, especially heard on “Miss Paranoia,” a creepy, bluesy take that you’d probably see on the juke box at The Titty Twister on From Dusk Till Dawn. Another standout is “Sugar Ran Wilde,” a song that revolves around a slow-grooving Joe Lally inspired bass line decorated by light keys and acoustic guitar.
In short, I can’t recommend House Cricks and Other Excuses to Get Out more, as it has quickly become one of my favorite releases of the year. Listen to it below: