Jess Harlen album launch, supported by Sietta

On Thursday night I made a pilgrimage (in dodgy boots – fine on the walk there, not so fine on the walk back) to Northcote Social Club for the album launch of Jess Harlen.

I discovered Jess a couple of months ago, thanks to my friend James (of Sietta, formerly of Culture Connect) raving about her.  Her sound is a combination of blues and soul, with a dash of funk, and Thursday night saw her accompanied by a full band, including a sax and two guest vocalists.  Jess played acoustic guitar throughout the one-hour set which was to launch her first full length album, Neon Heartache (she released an EP, Street Level Soul, in 2007).  You’ll find it impossible to stand still when you hear her – I did, anyway.  Gotta love a girl who “cheers”es the crown several times throughout her set with her bottle of beer!  She has definitely found a new fan in me.  Standout tracks: I Go, Watch the Water.  Jess is touring Australia through April and May to launch Neon Heartache, then is off to Tokyo.

Jess was supported by Sietta, a two-piece comprising of James Mangohig and Caiti B, who are about to move to Darwin (in James’ case, back to Darwin), and who have been gaining in popularity rapidly – check out their myspace for what they’ve been up to!  A combination of funk, hip-hop and beats, and I have to say, Caiti’s voice is one of the best I have heard in a long time, and – similarly to watching Jess – you won’t want to stand still.  Especially when you see her dance!  James is a gun behind a synthesiser, and they also played a couple of acoustic tracks (I saw their full acoustic set at the Empress a couple of months back, a winner also).  Stand out tracks: Take it or Leave It, Glass to Slate.  Get yo’selves down to the launch of their new single, a cover of Marcy Playground’s Sex and Candy at The Johnston on Saturday May 8.

~ by Kitten of Doom on April 24, 2010.

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