Released on September 19, 2019
The cover of J. Graves’ debut album Marathon shows an x-ray of front-woman and guitarist Jessa Graves’ chest. This is to show you where exactly these songs are coming from. Across Marathon Graves’ exposes herself to the listener. There’s a raw duality on the album that goes back and forth between longing for the loved ones you’ve lost and bidding good riddance to the ones that have left you scorned. There’s a sadness here but it will make make you dance in the process.
This strong debut from the Portland three piece (including bassist Barret Stolte and drummer Aaron MacDonald. *Dave Yeager played drums on this album*.) manages to take the New York garage rock of the early aughts and blend it with the post punk aesthetic of the late 70's. Think if Karen O fronted Interpol and dressed like Joy Division.
They don’t fool around either. The band gets straight to the point. There’s no long instrumentals or noisy fluff. This is perfectly exemplified on the track, Unlove, which opens with a back and forth muted guitar line and never lets up. Other highlights on the album include the track, Used To, which brings to mind the image of someone lamenting while lying in bed in the dark with the line “Oh, I think about it/Keeps me up at night” and the analogue recorded track, Chapters, with it’s pleading line of “Did I come at a bad time?/Feel it’s over now/And I guess you could be right/But I think it’s worth a try.”
Marathon is an wonderfully strong foundation on which to build from and is a much needed breath of fresh air. J. Graves are an example of what the world and future needs more of - badass, honest women who can play the shit out of a guitar.
You can check out Marathon on BandCamp and make sure to follow the band to see what they are up to next!
By: Chris Fitzgerald