A name like “Jakals” for a band was attention grabbing. A song titled “Keep Mother Sane”…well that even more so. Then I realized that Jakals is a play on the two main members names Katie Solomon and Jack Lewis. And I was even more intrigued.
Solomon’s voice enters as an almost whisper, delicate but beautiful in its own right. It drifts gently over a swaying electric guitar line and pleads for understanding. A softness, a secretive longing. There is a subtlety in how she presents the words in the first half of the song, which then erupts into an emotional cascade as she exclaims “doesn’t trouble you, doesn’t trouble you anyway“. There is a lot going on here and Solomon’s voice is the conduit for portraying the feelings that were seemingly kept under wraps in the first part of the song, perhaps the first part of a situation until the breaking point rears its head. A situation that is so frequent in human relationships. Trying your best to be strong and complacent until you just need to explode with the bottled up feelings you have spent so long trying to keep inside. The song does a wonderful job in portraying that both in musicianship, arrangement and genuine compassion that Jakals injects into the performance.
“We live in a society that, to me at least, seems completely insane.” Jakals’ lead singer and lyricist, Katie Solomon, explains, “The competition, the greed, the isolation… These aren’t natural things, but in order to survive and remain ‘sane’ in this system, we must accept them and lose some of our humanity. The pain of truly acknowledging the insanity of the way we live is too much, so many of us slowly detach from others, the world around us, and ourselves.”
Jakals will open for acclaimed New England folk singer-songwriter Lui Collins at me&thee Coffeehouse on February 17. Their full-length album, Keep Mother Sane, will be released on May 20 at The Burren Backroom.
Keep an eye and ear out for these folks this year.