Honestly, my plan was to just lay on the couch listening to Elton John songs and be bitter over the fact that he decided he didn’t need The Girl at the Rock Shows to cover his show (okay, I wasn’t surprised but a girl can dream right?!). After a couple of hours of listening to the same three Elton John songs over and over again (no, I’m not kidding), I decided it was time to end my pity party and get some new music in me. I gazed over my box of albums to review and instantly knew which one I was going to choose. Give a metal girl an album to review called “Deathfolk Magic” and you best believe it’s jumping to the top of the list. That’s how I found myself checking out Bye Bye Banshee’s “Deathfolk Magic” EP on a cold and quiet Thursday night.
The EP starts off slow and almost jazz like with a slow moving bass line accompanied by simple guitar strums and a solid drum pattern. It instantly whisks you away and as soon as Jezebel’s voice hits the track it hits you in just the most perfect way to just enhance your journey. Think Dresden Dolls vocals minus the Broadway vibe to it. Jezebel Jones’ voice is hauntingly beautiful. It has a sense of darkness to it but feels light and vibrant at the same time. Her voice is replaced by an organ which seems to mimic her voice in a very perfect way. “If I Die In My Dreams” is a super intriguing song which makes it the perfect opener for this four song release. It pulls you in and away from whatever bullshit is going on in your life and it prepares you for what’s to come without giving away the many surprises during this all too short EP.
“Bye Bye Banshee” has a less intimidating start to it. With just a guitar strumming away, it completely juxtaposes the almost dark vibe of “If I Die In My Dreams”. Jezebel’s voice seems to have changed to match this new vibe. A bit lighter and bright, there’s still this odd darkness that somehow still comes through. There’s no denying the vocal talent of this woman. Sure, all of the musicians that play on this EP are clearly overly talented and are well deserving of recognition but it’s Jezebel’s voice and her style that truly pushes this EP over the top. On the cover of the EP is a picture of Jezebel donning bright red hair and a flowing dress with her arms held up in the sky. The background of the picture is a bunch of plants and nature that is interrupted by these concrete looking pillars. Within seconds of listening to “Bye Bye Banshee” I couldn’t help but catch myself staring at this picture because that picture is this song. She has an intense stare that’s almost intimidating but, at the time, is somehow inviting. The way it matches and the way you can imagine her standing between this pillars singing to you is truly remarkable.
Track three is a true treasure. “Psychopomps” starts off with a familiar eerie feeling that seems to be a theme throughout this four song EP. Don’t worry though, Jezebel doesn’t let you fall into a black hole and when her voice kicks in the vibe is instantly lightened up without changing the tone of the EP. Much like the other songs, the instrumentation is almost barely there at times giving Jezebel’s voice the spotlight (although pretty sure her voice would steal the spotlight regardless). Everything about these four songs is tasteful. It’s not overdone, not over the top- it’s simple without coming across as easy or boring. Every note has it’s place. Every drum hit is done with a purpose even if it’s on the quiet side. Seriously, pure perfection.
The next track “Skull Rattles” is definitely my favorite on this four track EP (although they are all amazing songs). It’s a bit more upbeat than the previous songs and seems to have this new found element of bluegrass styling. With a bit of a oom-pa-pa beat, “Skull Rattles” had me swaying along to the beat in my chair while my cat watched me as if he was confused as to what the hell was going on. About half way through the song I realized that each song had been brighter than the last and I instantly loved that. I don’t know if it was intentional or what but it makes the EP feel more like a story than just a couple of songs thrown on a CD for recording purposes.
So maybe I didn’t get to see Elton John and of course I’m still bummed and will be for some time but discovering Bye Bye Banshee’s “Deathfolk Magic” definitely eased the pain a bit.
My Favorite Track(s): “Skull Rattles”
Chances Of Getting A Noise Complaint While Listening To In An Apartment: 6.5 out of 10
Sway-ability: 8 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artemis laid right in front of my computer; Autumn was walking around with her brush
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7.3 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Check Out Bye Bye Banshee Here:
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