Gadigal/Sydney-based indie rock and soul quartet, Jackie Brown Jr, has unveiled their beautifully curated EP, ‘The 5th Annual Sunshine State Golf Tournament‘. It’s a genre-bending marvel that effortlessly showcases the band’s musical prowess and ability to fuse various genres into a cohesive and captivating soundtrack for life. The four-piece consists of lead singer and saxophonist Maddy Mallis, drummer and MC Rhyan Clapham, guitarist and keyboard player Michael J Brady, and bassist Gideon Traurig. Their unique combination of talents contributes to the band’s ability to create a sound that eludes easy categorisation.
Produced by the band and recorded/mixed by Emmy Award-winning producer Sean Carey, the EP kicks off with the politically charged and progressive track ‘Going Insane’, delving into significant issues surrounding race, justice, and climate activism in Australia. This song features funky grooves, clear tones, and a sudden shift into hip-hop, demonstrating the band’s capacity to transcend traditional genre boundaries and sweep the listener to another place (in this case, a jazz-infused speakeasy).
Following suit is ‘Who’s Gonna Know’, characterised by thick drum and bass, vivid lyrics, and a musical backdrop that showcases the classic indie rock sound Australia is known for. ‘I Want Your Love’ is a fast-paced, groovy anthem that puts the band’s energetic live performance on full display, featuring insane vocals and a rhythm that absolutely demands movement. ‘Happy (You Wanna Be)’ offers a dance-worthy tune that resonates with relatability and hopefulness, while ‘Dead Bodies’ showcases Maddy Mallis’s beautiful vocals and the masterful use of what seems to be every instrument in the band’s arsenal. The EP culminates in the title track, featuring stunning saxophone melodies and Mallis’s crisp vocals, providing a vintage soul feel and leaving the listener captivated and yearning for more.
The accompanying cinematic masterpiece of a music video for the title track, ‘The 5th Annual Sunshine State Golf Tournament’, showcases the band’s literal ideation of the golf tournament with vintage effects reminiscent of your dad’s tennis match tape recordings from the 70s. The comical storyline, evolving into a soap series with elements of rivals turned lovers and a perfect prom dance, aligns seamlessly with the nostalgic vibes of the song. Undoubtedly one of the most well-thought-out and executed music videos in the indie rock scene, it enhances the overall listening experience and solidifies Jackie Brown Jr’s artistic instinct.
The EP release party at Waywards, Gadigal/Sydney on December 9th promises to be a spectacle, with special guests adding to the excitement. Fans can also catch them live at The Hamilton Station Hotel in Newcastle on December 8th and at SUBURBAN XMAS ’23 in Sydney on December 16th, ensuring that the end of 2023 is filled with the eclectic sounds of JBJ. This EP firmly establishes Jackie Brown Jr as a force to be reckoned with in the indie rock scene, and we eagerly anticipate more from this talented quartet.
Image Credit: Tom Wilkinson