Currently comprised of Jordan H. Kleinman (vocals, guitar), Aaron Shadow (keys, vocals), Henry Kuckens (guitar), Kalyn Beach (bass) and the band’s newest member Jacob Lauing (drums), the Los Angeles, CA-based art pop/indie rock quintet Jubilo Drive can trace their origins to when the quartet of Kleinman, Shadow, Kuckens and Beach along with Eric Cruz (drums) met while they were all attending Chapman University. They began jamming together, eventually developing sound that meshed their individual tastes and drew from several different styles of experimental music. And as a result, the band has received praise from the likes of Buzzbands.LA for a “colorful brand of indie psychedelia rock.”
After the members of the band graduated from Chapman in 2016, they spent the next year touring. When the tour ended, the band was hit with an unimaginable tragedy when Eric Cruz died in a fatal car accident in 2017. Reeling from the loss of their friend and bandmate, the band made the difficult decision to continue onward to honor their friend.
The band’s recently released full-length effort Late Night, Early Morning thematically navigates through love, loss and the difficulties of moving forward in the face of inconsolable loss — balancing emotional catharsis with hope. While paying tribute to Cruz on two album tracks, the interlude “99.2 ERC,” which was centered around an old recording of Cruz on Chapman’s college radio show with Kleinman Thursday Night Taxi Service introducing a Jubilo Drive track and “Thursday Night Taxi Service,” the album finds the band actively pushing their sound and approach in new directions. “We were pretty experimental when it came to recording techniques on this record,” the band’s Jordan H. Kleinman says in press notes. “We’ve determined what does and does not work for our sound or recording style. Right now Jubilo Drive is essentially a new band with an old name. We had some ups and downs making this record but we’re stronger and wiser for it. I feel really confident about our process moving forward.”
Thursday Night Taxi Service’s latest single is the propulsive “Look Around.” Centered around infectious, arena rock friendly hooks, shimmering guitar lines, thunderous and forceful drumming, atmospheric synths and plaintive vocals, the song sonically reminds me of The Life and Times’ 2005 full-length Suburban Hymns, complete with rousing, arena friendly raise-your-beer-in-the-sky-and-shout-along worthy hooks and some 60s psych rock blasts of flute. While being a bit of a wistful nod at a much more innocent past, the song is really a hopeful look forward with the understanding that there’s always a little bit of guilt in moving forward — and that hopefully you can earn some wisdom and compassion from life’s difficulties.
Edited by the band’s Henry Kuckens, the recently released video for “Look Around” consists of slickly edited stock footage shot from various parts of the world during the 60s — and as a result, it emphasizes the song’s sense of nostalgia while being trippy.