Jake and Jamin Orrall — a.k.a. Nashville Rock duo JEFF The Brotherhood — are the sons of singer/songwriter Robert Ellis Orrall, who has written for the likes of Taylor Swift, Reba McIntire and Martina McBride. The elder Orrall has also had success as a performer, producer and indie record label owner; he co-founded the Infinity Cat label with his sons when they were teenagers, right as they were getting their band project off of the ground.
JEFF The Brotherhood has experienced a great level of success since those early days, building up a following and reputation nationwide throughout the ’00s that culminated with their acclaimed 2009 LP Heavy Days. The band and its label linked up with Warner Music Group in 2011, which led to the duo’s Warner Bros. Records debut, Hypnotic Nights (produced by Dan Auerbach), in 2012.
But the partnership was short-lived and the band parted ways with Warner, releasing the well-received Wasted on the Dream in 2015 on their own.
For the Dream tour, JEFF beefed up its live presentation, becoming a touring four-piece and eventually adding bassist Jack Lawrence, a Covington, Ky. native and founding member of Cincinnati’s Greenhornes, as well as The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather alongside Jack White. (Lawrence's rhythm-section partner in The Greenhornes and Raconteurs, Patrick Keeler, has been the drummer for another big Cincinnati musical export, The Afghan Whigs, since 2015.) Lawrence has done touring and session jobs with various other artists over the past decade in Nashville, including City and Colour and Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Lawrence had also recorded with JEFF on Dream. For their much-anticipated latest album Magick Songs, which was released Sept.7, the Orralls fully moved the quartet concept into the studio, collaborating on the music with Lawrence and guitarist Kunal Prakash.
The album (released through Dine Alone Records) finds JEFF The Brotherhood at its most progressive, dynamic and experimental, poaching from various styles and wonderfully showcasing their craftsmanship and adventurous musical alchemy. Magick Songs is a wholly hypnotic series of textural soundscapes ("Singing Garden," "Celebration") punctuated by moments of dirty, buzzing Rock & Roll heaviness, like "The Mother" and "Magick Man," and warm, classic Indie, like "Camel Swallowed Whole," that repositions the former Garage Rock champs (a description they publicly disowned a decade ago) as the Pink Floyd of the Indie Rock world. Magickal, indeed.
Cincinnati’s The Harlequins and Spooky Dreamland open JEFF’s show this Sunday (Sept. 16) at Woodward Theater. Click here for tickets/more show info.