Jesse Sykes is absolutely smitten with the idea of the slow build. On both the August-released Marble Son and the preceding three albums, the namesake of Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter has shown her devotion to tracks that take their time to venture anywhere they want. Instruments move in meticulous, drawn-out motions, and when explosions finally do occur in songs, they ruminate and linger instead of demanding immediate emotional results.
It’s a great positive, then, that Sykes’ work roams around AltCountry, Folk Rock and Psychedelic Rock, styles that make her furtiveness an asset instead of an albatross
. Listening to Sykes for instant gratification is bound to mean disappointment, but if you’re willing to dive into the Seattle-based musician’s sullen, wounded sonic pool and swim around for a spell, its positives can strike with serious impact.
Although Sykes’ name occupies top billing in The Sweet Hereafter, she has a comrade on nearly equal footing with her in the form of Phil Wandscher, a guitarist/vocalist otherwise best known for being in Ryan Adams’ old AltCountry outfit Whiskeytown.
Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter play MOTR Pub Saturday with Buffalo Killers. Go here to read Reyan Ali's full Sound Advice.