Royal Jelly Jive ‘Stand Up’ On Their Newest Release And Groove Into The Future

first_imgRoyal Jelly Jive have forged a unique and entrancing sound that draws upon musical elements from across modern music history to create their newest release, Stand Up. With everything from slow jazz, ragtime, beat poetry, Americana flavored rock all guided by a steady, song craft focused writing philosophy each track gains a life and identity while remaining part of the band’s whole. Though the band itself is only three years old, their rich blend of styles and the ease in which they have created their own distinct flavor shows a deep group understanding of both theory and commitment to a shared purpose percolating behind their stage smiles is a truly impressive accomplishment.Stand Up‘s opening track, Bad, is a down tempo funk tune that grooves and pops with sparse production and guitar and horn stings that add color and credence to singer Lauren Michelle Bjelde breathy, jazzy vocals to perfect effect. Bjelde’s remarkable voice manages to be brash and vulnerable at once, with a sassy sexuality continually informing each syllable. The second track finds her pipes put to the test in an homage to the eccentric, gruff voiced modern day troubadour Tom Waits in a musical open letter entitled ‘Dear Mr. Waits.” Managing to match the spirit of the legendary stylist without outright imitation is a difficult task, but one the band playfully manages with charm to spare. Check out the track below:“Dear Mr. Waits”Showcasing Beljde’s breathy delivery on the opening piano introduction of “Elixir,” the band quickly morphs into a rave up that must surely bring down the house live. Songs like “When I’m With You” and “Oh Roger” could have easily been released in the twenties and done well for themselves, while “Railroad Tracks” and “Top Hat” embrace the rock and soul of fifties and sixties. On the track “Story,” Royal Jelly Jive is stripped down to its most naked, with only an echo effect to add dimension to an otherwise completely straight jazz-blues smouldering number that speaks to both the heart and the hips in equal volume. Guitarist Marty O’Reilly swings by to add a male counterpoint to the vocals, turning a lonesome ode into a testimony to a shared love.Listen to their collaboration below.“Story”A second tribute to the esteemed Mr. Waits comes by way of an unexpected and delightful reworking of the Primus song “Tommy The Cat” that Waits had added a spectacular spoken word section. It bubbles and cruises along with a completely original score that nods at the original before going in a completely different direction to a most satisfying effect. Bjelde’s voice seems fitted for the black and white smoky film noir settings that served as the inspiration for the Jack Nicholson homage Chinatown, which serves as both the title and subject matter of one of the tunes on the disc. Ending on a wistful note, the simplicity of production and sheer honesty of the piece elevates it into a true moment of connection that all bands should aspire to create with their listeners.Fans of jazz, smokey piano bars and sensual songstresses alike should find themselves in love with this album, but they won’t be alone. Though it is steeped in a old-timey style it is also strangely accessible to all audiences. Royal Jelly Jive might not fill arenas but they will certainly fill hearts with warmth and minds with lascivious thoughts with their slightly surreal sound. They’ll be holding a special album release party at The Independent in San Francisco on June 24th, and it’s sure to be a sell out crowd ready to wish their home town band luck on the tour to follow.  Catch them if you can!last_img

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