Live Concert Photography: The Jezabels with Surf Rock Is Dead at Music Hall of Williamsburg 12/1/16
Comprised of Hayley Mary (vocals) and Heather Shannon (keys, piano), Sam Lockwood (guitar) and Nik Kaloper (drums, percussion), the Sydney, Australia-based indie rock quartet The Jezabels derive their name from the biblical character Jezebel. And while the band can trace its origins in some sense to when the band members met while attending the University of Sydney, they can actually trace their origins a bit further back to when Haley Mary and Heather Shannon had formed a folk duo while attending Bryon Bay High School. As the story goes, Sam Lockwood also grew up in Bryon Bay and recognized Haley Mary and Shannon from their hometown while on campus and invited the duo to join him for a band competition. Kaloper was then recruited to flesh out the band’s sound. As the band’s Haley Mary has publicly recalled the band’s formation “was the combination of four individual desires to play music and taking whatever opportunities we could find — which happened to be each other . . .”
With the release of their first two EPs — 2009’s The Man Is Dead and She’s So Hard — the Australian quartet quickly received both national and international attention, with “Easy to Love” and “Hurt Me,” receiving airplay on Triple J, their hometown’s FBi Radio, while “Disco Biscuit Love” off The Man Is Dead debuted at number 114 on the CMJ top 200 and eventually peaked at number 96 and the She’s So Hard EP was that yer’s number 3 most added record on US college radio. And adding to a growing national and international profile, the band was named Triple J Unearthed featured artist — with the radio station describing them as “dramatic, energetic, uplifting indie rock with a commanding singer,” followed by a set at Field Day during the subsequent year.
With the release of their first batch of singles “Equinox,” “Late Risers” “Zen A” and “Anymore,” the New York-based indie rock duo Surf Rock Is Dead first started to win the attention of the blogosphere, as well as this site. In fact, if you had been frequenting this site over the course of last, you may recall that I had written about “Anymore,” their The Clash‘s “Lost in the Supermarket”-channeling single off the EP that the duo had released that year. And just last week, I wrote about the duo’s latest single “In Between,” a single, which further cemented their burgeoning reputation for crafting anthemic and shimmering guitar pop that possesses a wistful air just underneath the surface. The duo opened for the renowned Australian act The Jezabels with a short set of their material at Music Hall of Williamsburg.