Music

Your Friend: Jekyll / Hyde EP

This is an extended play that is sparse and airy in equal measure, with the music sounding remotely thin at times.


Your Friend

Jekyll / Hyde EP

Label: Domino
US Release Date: 2014-04-08
UK Release Date: 2014-04-08
Online Release Date: 2014-02-18
Amazon
iTunes

Your Friend is the nom de plume for Lawrence, Kansas, native Taryn Blake Miller. Her debut EP, Jekyll / Hyde, was originally independently released in August 2013, but has since been snapped up by Domino and re-recorded in places to add new vocals and live drums. It’s interesting in that this refurbished version was initially released online (in February) before a physical CD and 12-inch release came into fruition. It would have been interesting to hear the original version and compare it to the new one, but, suffice to say, the new Jekyll / Hyde is an extended play that is sparse and airy in equal measure, with the music sounding remotely thin in places. It reminds me sometimes of St. Vincent, and, at other times, it reminds me a lot of Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. However, these six tracks work as a rather seamless experience, and there’s not a heck of a great deal of variation between them. That is either the EP’s greatest strength or its greatest failing, depending on your point of view.

“Bangs”, which opens the set, is actually something of a listless lullaby, until those live drums kick in and pummel the piece into submission. “Peach”, which follows, kind of sounds a bit like a slowed-down version of a Local Natives song, with its stick-on-stick drumming. “Pallet” is effectively melodramatic, with its lush Mellotron adding gravitas. “Tame One” may just very well be the most driving and forceful track to be found on this short album. However, the title track, while affecting in its own right, is kind of more of what came before, and is middling in its success as a result. Finally, “Expectation / Reality” (Miller has a thing for song titles with slashes, it seems) is again, cut from the same snail-like pace. Overall, the Jekyll / Hyde EP will appeal to those who like their music slow and quiet. There’s great beauty to be found here, though, and, despite its slight flaws, I would be quite happy, based on the goods she’s delivered, if Miller was indeed my own personal friend.

7

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image