J. Graves releases ‘Chapters’ (single)

Calling it the sound of “sweet and agonizing rock” Portland’s J. Graves sweeps the listener into a bed of ruffled riffs and tidal waves of pounding percussion in the punkish rock track “Chapters.” J. Graves (Jessa Graves) is former frontwoman for HelloKopter and spent a year working on the forthcoming full-length, Marathon, out September 13th. Until then, “Chapters” is just the second single and it’s deliciously gripping.

URL: https://www.jgraves.xyz/

First off – Grave’s voice. It’s not pretty like a princess, there’s this layer of sadness and angst all twisted in knots. She also has this impressive command – the guitar riffs are just killer, like the listener can literally feel and hear each lick and the pic strike with energy. Her voice floats above the guitar and the garage-rock percussion like a tug boat keeping afloat during a hurricane. She’s gritty, yet so full of hope. Her passion is unmistakably and as she belts out “maybe it’s time” she wills the listener to take hold of her story and her point-of-view. She can boast comparisons to Regina Spektor (her bio states PJ Harvey as an influence, too), but truly she’s carved a fast lane of her own. Harvey might be a bit more avant-garde than Grave’s, but certainly the correlations can be made.

“I hope you get what you wanted” is just one line in “Chapters” that feels very personal. Besides the powering music bed and as mentioned afore, her incredible vocals, “Chapters” has this sense of being an open diary. It also invokes, at certain moments, a feeling of claustrophobia. Perhaps those bangs and incessant guitar riffs erupt into an emotional tirade. Grave’s vocal prowess ices this cake; her emotions in check.

Fans of Nirvana – this is a no brainer. This is a band to keep on your radar and Graves has the charisma to march in stride with Kurt Cobain. “Chapters” has that Pacific Northwest cloak hovering over the pain and joy. It has that dreary, dark garage tonal values. Fall for it – the trip is worth it. The sound jumps out and it is a real connection that no over-produced or sound engineered mix could create. This is real anguish. It’s also the sound of moving on and making a statement. The listener is affixed in the way Graves’ vocals commandeer the track, yet the guitar riffs worm their way into memory and mood setting. At times, it does get a little fuzzy as to what Graves is singing, what the actual lyrics are, but that’s more of a statement about the back-and-forth with the guitar work and the incredible drum work. The listener’s focus changes at times…yes…but Grave’s voice also seems to be a beacon.

S – https://open.spotify.com/album/56vw5pU7BPDH5HNqXwnmjY

Overall, “Chapter” is a formidable track. It’s power is in Grave’s vocals, but the overall tightness of the band (which also includes Aaron MacDonald and Barret Stolte) is just as potent. While fans might have already been listening to Marathon’s first single, “New Favourite”, this second single, “Chapters” is a meatier bite for the music fan craving something for their musical library.

John McCall