In the songs of the Melbourne, Australia, band Jaala, different realities are allowed to coexist, the push-and-pull as evident in frontwoman and songwriter Cosima Jaala's textured voice as in the group's erratic style. On Jaala’s most recent single "Junior Spirit," an early taste of Jaala's in-progress second album, she attempts and fails to leave someone. Produced by Dan Luscombe of The Drones, Junior Spirit premiered on NPR Songs We Love and was quickly added to rotation on Triple J.
As senior Pitchfork editor Laura Snapes describes the group “Elasticity is Jaala's trademark, forged on the band's excellent 2015 debut Hard Hold. Sometimes Cosima sounds like a punk Joanna Newsom, other times Amy Winehouse at her most butter-wouldn't-melt, both sides tied together with the splattered spirit of Life Without Buildings' Sue Tompkins. The band, comprising bassist Jules Pascoe, guitarist Nic Lam and drummer Maria Moles, is equally versatile: "Junior Spirit" melts in with a guitar sound that can often connote psychedelic emptiness, but here oozes fondness for what's been lost. The calm waters soon turn choppy, thrashing to a proggy lumber that betrays all Cosima's indignation."
In an email to NPR lead singer Cosi explains the origins of the song "I first saw the words Junior Spirit embroidered on a pair of overalls, they were way to big for me but I wore them that day anyway. The two words really struck a chord, I felt like they were a kinder way to say inexperienced tiny person OR young soul that's a little bit shit at life but still cute and lovable. The Junior Spirit is the part of us that remains innocent, even when old in years and especially when wearing overalls that are too big."
Jaala’s affinity to dissonance with their jagged tempos, lyrical turmoil and diffused musical histories, make their sonic unity and steadily expanding fancies almost anomalous. Cosi Jaala isn’t so surprised - “I think that birds of a feather do flock together”
Jaala’s live shows are a chance for punters to experience Jaala in their most dynamic form - "There are no visual cues” guitarist Nicholas Lam assures, "we could do it with our eyes closed"
Their songs still snarl and spit like rancid poetry, but it's Jaala's pause and accord that is truly enthralling. "I don't think any of us are thinking about it metronomically" Drummer Maria Moles explains, "it's stretchy and moves around.”
Jaala's debut album 'Hard Hold' released in late 2015, best described by Pitchfork as "a clever record that rarely foregrounds that fact — perhaps because it was recorded in a week, it hangs onto a scampering, impromptu quality that only adds to its appeal”.
Released on Melbourne tastemaker label Wondercore Island, it ran out of the gate and to the top of most critics 'Best Of' lists including a nod for AMP Album Of The Year, feature record on JJJ, Album Of The Week on RRR, FBi, RTR and SYN FM and clocking rave reviews on Pitchfork, FADER and NPR abroad.