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.