The appeal of a modern, on the rise indie band like Jukebox the Ghost is simple: They write catchy songs. On top of that, they're dynamic, skilled musicians. The band's records are carefully structured, yet wildly diverse affairs. And the live show? Energetic, crowd-pleasing, cathartic.
The Philly trio's new album, produced by Peter Katis (Interpol, The National) and set for release this fall on Yep Roc, highlights all of these elements over 11 tracks, each one leaving its own unique sonic footprint. But constructing and arranging the songs to their full potential took years of preparation, both on the road and in all of the basements, houses, hotel rooms and studios where the songs were born.
Since their 2008 debut, Let Live and Let Ghosts, a sunny, piano-led explosion of pop exuberance, JTG has logged hundreds of shows and thousands of hours on tour - all of which helped the guys develop the patience and perspective needed to deliver a more intricate and serious second record.
Originally formed during college in Washington D.C., Jukebox the Ghost (the name's an amalgam of Captain Beefheart and Nabakov references) won accolades for that first record, Let Live and Let Ghosts, which Spin called "a refreshing reminder that the lighthearted electricity of a fantastic pop song is still filled with live wires." The band - Thornewill, Siegel and drummer Jesse Kristin - jelled quickly, despite their disparate musical backgrounds in everything from classical piano to prog to indie to 80s Brit-pop. Collectively, the group delivered an unabashedly upbeat, playful sound with a sly dark streak (see: the aforementioned apocalyptic lyrics).
With new songs and a new direction in hand, JTG plan to spend the next year on the road, hopefully matching the 300+ shows the band did between albums one and two.