Jaye Jayle’s sound is hard to define. Some might call it modern blues, given its sonic explorations of the American landscape, recorded during three months of touring the United States. This process meant that the lyrics were often inspired by wholly different terrains to the music compositions, resulting in songs that are discordant to say the least. The likes of A Cold Wind and Guntime captivate, nevertheless, thanks to their loose, woozy, dream-like quality. Evan himself had envisioned Iggy Pop might sing these songs, though it’s Nick Cave’s influence you can hear most clearly – not just in the depth of Evan’s voice, but in the dark obliqueness brooding boldly at the fore.
This similarity is most explicit on The River Spree, which finds Evan in Berlin (‘Berlin… that’s what I’m in’), name-checking David Bowie and the aforementioned Iggy. These figures of familiarity are useful to be able to have and hold on to, because there are few easy ways through these 10 tracks. Neither the music, which is chilly and electronic, nor the vocals, which prioritize poetry over melody, make the most accessible of listens, which could turn some off, but may yield profound rewards for the for the patient listener.
This project began as the soundtrack to an art show, and was inspired by vistas streaming past windows on interminably long drives, so none of this was meant to be easy to enjoy. It’s music to accompany contemplative walks, light skies and dark moods. It’s hard work, but it will work on you.
Verdict: 4/5 // Prisyn is out on August 7 via Sargent House.