Life has a way of letting us know what we’re supposed to do and when we’re supposed to do it. We can distract ourselves, but life is persistent. Jessica Hernandez knows that. She knows that no matter what gets in the way, time won’t stop for anyone. Be it struggles or triumphs, Hernandez is ready for whatever, whenever.
This malleability expresses itself in so many facets of Jessica’s life. The first-generation American grew up in and around Detroit. There are few regions more impressing as the nitty-gritty of Rock City and it left its mark on the 25-year-old artist. Her voice is instantly recognizable. Its strength and soul are matched by an honest vulnerability. Whether she is singing heartfelt words about someone that has left this world too early, or belting out a danceable tune through a big smile, Hernandez is unforgettable… especially with the ultra-talented Deltas behind her.
Never one to adhere to norms or outside pressures, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas have learned lesson after lesson along their rise as one of Detroit’s favorite bands. They’ve honed their craft in sell-out shows and tours than span the nation. It’s easiest to classify Hernandez by seeing the people that come to every show. All races, all ages, all fans of good music.
Southern by birth and rearing, northern by political disposition and weather preference, Jordan Jeffares is no stranger to oscillation. In the six years that passed since the release of his band Snowden’s first full-length, Anti-Anti (Jade Tree), Jeffares has shifted his base of operation from Atlanta to Chicago, then back, up to Brooklyn, and then down to Austin. When you throw in touring the U.S. and Europe, the scenery changed a lot around Jeffares in recent years. Through all the tumult of relocating, Jeffares has been crafting (and re-crafting) Anti-Anti’s follow-up, ironically titled, given its auteur’s dedication and perseverance, No One in Control. The album will be released by Serpents and Snakes, the Nashville label formed in 2009 by the Kings of Leon, who tapped Snowden to support them on a 2007 tour. The label’s mission is to support hard-working bands it believes in. With Jeffares, the imprint has found a kindred spirit who exemplifies its ideals. Jeffares tracked most of the record on his own in Atlanta and New York, before trekking to western Michigan to join forces with producer Bill Skibbe (The Kills) and build out the sound in the studio. Skibbe mixed the record, and Alan Douches (Kurt Vile, The Twilight Sad) handled the mastering.
Perhaps due to its extended incubation period, No One in Control diverges from the Lower East Side Britpop dance party motif of its predecessor. It also moves away from the wryly observant, barfly narrator, opting for a guide occupying a more mature, plaintive, and, at times, existentialist headspace. It’s a bit of a taking stock record. Anti-Anti’s tracks begged to be remixed, emphasizing pulsating rhythms that undergirded Jeffares’ strident assertions about the pointlessness of hipster ideals or the evocative nightlife scenes. In contrast, No One in Control stays truer to the genesis of all Snowden’s output—the seemingly hermetically sealed cocoon that Jeffares escapes to when doggedly transforming an abstract concept into a piece of music. It’s headphone music for the creative class.
To call the contents of No One in Control “bedroom songs” is to be reductive. Like Bon Iver, Jeffares is a master of creating the singular mood of a man alone with his thoughts. While both evoke the snowy cold that Jeffares prefers as the ambience to his writing sessions, the landscape that Snowden’s music scores is decidedly boots-on-ground urban compared to Justin Vernon’s ear-muffed pastoralism. Snowden’s latest arrangements are a swirl of textures that waft and then envelope the percussion and rhythms at their core, as exemplified best by the ethereal “Anemone Arms.” The epic title track acclimates the listener to the gauzy chamber pop featured in much of the rest of the record before exploding into a synth-encrusted rock gem that Snowden’s fans will recognize as the band’s calling card. The first single to be released from the new work, “The Beat Comes” creeps towards an aural crescendo while Jeffares simultaneously emotes dread and loathing with relief and acceptance through one of his more uptempo vocal performances. At the heart of the doubled vocals and studio accouterments that add depth to “Don’t Want to Know Me” is a song that seems to have had its start as a jangly ballad reminiscent of The Clientele’s oeuvre.
While roots have been pulled and replanted over the past six years, band lineups have gone through several iterations, and labels have come and gone, Jeffares has managed to keep his focus. He credits his stalwart supporter and earliest patron, his brother Preston, for keeping him focused in moments of frustration. With his older sibling’s sage stewardship, Jeffares has put together the most sonically sophisticated collection of tracks he’s penned and constructed to date—effectively moving beyond influences such as Interpol, The Zombies, and The Clientele to carve a niche of his own in the post punk landscape.
JUST ANNOUNCED! Detroit Rock/Punk/Funk Legends DEATH will be doing an In-Store Signing/Q&A at UHF Records on Saturday June 8th at 2pm in conjunction with their performance at this years Orion Fest & promotion of the upcoming “A Band Called Death” Documentary film! ALSO that day…Third Man Records will be releasing a Ltd Ed 7” of an early incarnation of Death when they were called Rockfire Funk Express. It will be a Ltd Ed TRI-COLOR 7 Inch single that will be ONE per customer & no advance holds! BAM!
Metro Times Blowout 16 “Hangin’ with Navdo” Showcase
curated by Navdo with Blaring Division and Strike Team Agency
Friday May 3rd 2013
Navdo Presents brings boutique, high-caliber production values to May 3rd’s “Hangin’ With Navdo” Metro Times Blowout Showcase at the Rustbelt Market in Ferndale (8pm showtime). “Hangin’ With Navdo“‘s celebration and elevation of fresh, “new” Detroit is headlined by Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas, with their signature of gothic, funky, soulful, confident rock and roll woven around Hernandez’ steamy powerhouse voice. J. Walker & The Crossguards salute the most storied Motor City Rock guitar legacy sounds while weaving together smoky, bluesy riffs that are all 2013. For those who can’t get enough of Sigur Ros and Spiritualized’s resurgence this summer, there is Electric Lion Soundwave Experiment’s shoegazing space rock. Almost Free blaze proudly through prog-alt rock hooks, new wave grungy guitar sounds that give way to positively bright summer anthems. New wave and space rock lead effortlessly into the electronic rock production of Manic Moves and Ex American (think Tanlines, Deerhoof, Chairlift, Tame Impala).
"Hangin’ With Navdo" is what Detroit is today; a commitment to our star local artists; recognition that young Detroit has the talent, passion, energy, and rainbow of flavors to set fire on a platform right alongside the best of Brooklyn, California, Atlanta, Nashville, and all our music city counterparts. May 3 defines Navdo’s mantra that brilliant Detroit artists should always be presented with the highest of technical production values, community support and involvement, and respect to each unique artistic style. Come hang with these 6 artists. The next time you see any of them, the stage will be that much bigger.