You may be familiar with Evan Patterson via noise rock outfit Young Widows and hardcore bands The National Acrobat and Breather Resist, all of whom originate from Louisville, Kentucky. Prisyn, the recent release under Evan’s Jaye Jayle moniker, changes things up a bit, the composition was done on the GarageBand app on an iPhone 8. He dispensed with his regular band and teamed up with Ben Chisholm (White Horse, Revelator, Chelsea Wolfe) and according to the notes ‘There are no real instruments on this album. All sounds heard here besides the voices were created synthetically’.
The project has its genesis with a request from designer Ashley Rose, who proposed that Patterson team up with Chelsea Wolfe and Ben Chisholm to create a soundtrack for one of her upcoming fashion shows. The album title is a play on the idea of a synthetic prison, which is ironic when you consider the album’s use of addictive technologies.
Prisyn starts with A Cold Wind, a beautiful cold wave synth is accompanied by Patterson’s Nick Cave gothic tinged vocals. The track sounds like it wouldn’t be out of place on Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2016 psychological horror film The Neon Demon, which is coincidental considering the aforementioned reference to fashion. Don’t Blame The Rain sounds like it belongs in a European Discotheque, ala London’s Blitz Club in the late 1970s/early 1980s, one could imagine the new romantics getting down to this number. There’s desperation to the vocals, indicative of Patterson’s desire to escape his conservative surroundings.
Synthetic Prison is an instrumental and an atmospheric and expansive slice of loveliness. The River Spree is the longest track on the album and my favourite. An Alan Vega vocal style combines with the spoken word narrative form of Enablers frontman Pete Simonelli, reminding one of the Pigeon Diaries where Simonelli narrated a journey through New York. It is a travelogue put to a post-rock drone/electronic soundscape and based on true life events where Patterson found himself high and lost in Berlin with no bandmates or phone. Making Friends features an industrial laden beat with vocals that don’t stray a million miles away from those of Till Lindermann of Rammstein. Guntime has a lounge lizard vibe ala Brian Ferry with lyrics that convey the terrifying real life ordeal of French teenagers pointing an uzi at the Jaye Jayle tour bus.
The album may be a bit of a shock for long-time fans of Jaye Jayle… However that should soon dissipate once they get their teeth into this uniquely crafted piece of work…
Blueberries was conceived during a late night drive through a thunderstorm in Atlanta and the music reflects this with an ominous sound marking this as the most intense track on the album. I Need You is a dark and harrowing sounding track and is one of two tracks to feature the gifted Emma Ruth Rundle (Red Sparowes, Marriages, solo) with whom Evan has collaborated previously on the split The Time Between Us album.
Last Drive is another instrumental that has an atmospheric David Lynchian weirdness to it, envisaging the characters from Mulholland Drive driving round the Hollywood hills late at night. The album concludes with From Louisville, a reference to Patterson’s hometown and is the other track to feature Emma Ruth Rundle. It reminded me of Christian Death with its deathrock flavourings, the interplay between Evan and Emma recall that of Valor Kand and Gitane DeMoan.
The album may be a bit of a shock for long-time fans of Jaye Jayle‘s previous collection of strictly gothic alt-country. However that should soon dissipate once they get their teeth into this uniquely crafted piece of work. It demonstrates an evolution into electronica that, unlike the late Chris Cornell’s embarrassing Scream, album actually works.
Scribed by: Reza Mills