Boorloo-based Jocelyn’s Baby are finally ready to release their debut album: Are you listening?
An incredibly eclectic group of songs with many recurring threads and themes, Are you listening? continues the momentum of previous singles Grab Your Gun and Did it hurt you? into its final cohesive 10-track whole.
Jess Nyanda Moyle’s powerful voice and lyrics take the listener on a journey through dusty plains, country pubs, late-night clubs, and even church; world-weary but uniquely, bleakly Australian, while darkly funny and hopeful at the same time. Violins, slide guitar, chains, race calls and gang vocals punctuate the tracklist, with genre being no object, blending pub/garage rock, 90s alternative, balladry and synth pop in one queer-country-alt-rock package.
Soaring guitar solos and delicious licks in Wake. Relax. Repeat Again. and flamenco-inspired Closing Time (music dies) are provided by Joshua Rospondek, one of Perth’s best unsung lead guitarists, while Aaron Graham’s (Ribs) bass lines imbue Home Away from Home and Did it hurt you? with driving, dancing energy. Behind the band is the incredible drumming talent of Courtney Hardy, blitzing through the quiz night blow-up of R U OK Russo? and providing the gorgeous languid shuffle and breakdown through the bluesy clavs of Day In, Day Out. Ryan Brennan’s (Julia Jacklin, Noah Dillon) production delicately balances the band’s many influences into something unique and ethereal, with features from Elise Hiatt’s violin (Jack Davies & the Bush Chooks, Claudie Joy & the Joy Boys) and slide guitar from Luke Dux (Kill Devil Hills, The Floors, Timothy Nelson) completing the picture.
Mental health, burn out, addiction, ageism, sexism, chauvinism, the music industry, Australian culture are all internalised and examined with the album’s many questions:
Are you OK? Did it hurt you? Am I right, am I wrong? What am I doing here? Do you need a friend?
And most importantly, Are you listening?