Boston band Jaggery pilfer jazz, classical, avant-rock, and chamber pop elements to create compelling sonic constructions, like "Sea of Sideways", featured here. It can be an overwhelming aural experience; one could be buried under the band's various directions...much like the subject in the song's accompanying video.
Jaggery's sound moves from haunting lullabies to intricately-woven, mixed-meter rants to catharsis-inducing, barn-burning mini-epics ~ oftentimes within the same song. The Boston-based five piece establish their genre-defying style ~ blending elements of darkwave, jazz, classical, ethereal avant-rock, and chamber art-pop ~ with the release of their EP Private Violence ~ an ode to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood ~ on November 13, 2012.
Private Violence takes a turn for the macabre, adapting its title from criminologist Richard Rhodes' book, Why They Kill, which describes criminals as "differ[ing] from the rest of us in following through with private violence." Nowhere is that more evident than through frontwoman Mali's primary inspiration behind the EP: Perry Smith, misunderstood murderer from Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.
Capote described the 1959 murders as "four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives." Mali and Jaggery opted for a more musical approach to the tragic Kansas crime scene. "Hostage Heart," the first song written on the EP, works as both a tribute to Perry Smith and an identification with the murderer. "I was looking at myself, and looking at Perry, yet also expressing the wonder and horror over what his hands were capable of," explains Mali. "Oh my god" is a dark, gritty jazz recounting of Smith's hanging, and the EP ends on the aptly titled "End Song," a wistfully sung ballad to Smith as a confused and abused child.
Jaggery found its footing in New York, writing and performing under different monikers until 2004 when the band began to take its current shape:
songstress/pianist Singer Mali is flanked by a rotating lineup of musicians and instrumentation, including Daniel Schubmehl's West African and jazz approach to the drum kit, Tony Leva's often prepared upright bass, Rachel Jayson's avant-classical viola, and Petaluma Vale's glistening Celtic harp and backing vocals.
Jaggery have brought their dark, jazzy rock ensemble to the stage of Boston's NEMO conference in 2005, NXNE in 2011, and have opened for Amanda Palmer and Wye Oak. Their live show has become as much a theatrical performance as an audio one, with the band often accompanied by dancers, aerialists, and film.
In addition to November's Private Violence, Jaggery has released the In Lethe EP (2004), and the full-lengths Polyhymnia (2006) and Upon A Penumbra (2010). Jaggery's first music video ("O Scorpio") won their director "Most Promising New England Filmmaker 2009" at the Boston Underground Film Festival. Their second ("Sea of Sideways) was featured at BUFF 2011.