By Brie East
Artist: Jack + Eliza
Album: No Wonders
Label: YEBO Music
Release Date: September 19, 2014
Despite hailing from New York City, Jack + Eliza’s sound is straight out of California.
Having just released their debut EP No Wonders, Jack + Eliza are quite the buzz around publications such as Nylon and VICE. The duo, who are still in college, sound older than their years as they harmonize into almost just one voice. It’s no wonder that Eliza Callahan (who currently attends Columbia University as a creative writing and visual arts major) won the International John Lennon Songwriting award at the mere age of 15. The comparison to Girlpool would not be unfounded: two best friends armed only with their guitars, full of youthful idealism.
Inspired by the stripped-down sound of the XX, the group sounds eerily similar to Beach Boys’ seminal album Pet Sounds. With a 60s vibe soaking their sound on songs like “Hold the Line”, it’s no wonder that the band also worships such monumental groups such as the Mamas and the Papas, The Kinks and the music of Motown. With a little help from producer Chris Zane (Passion Pit, Friendly Fires), the group achieves a rich, warm quality, almost like a vinyl record.
Other standout tracks on the album include “Quarter Past the Hour,” “Oh No,” and “Secrets,” which despite the group’s New York City roots, sound like love songs to the West Coast. The tracks are almost minimalist in nature, as the group wants to make an effort to produce stripped down pop music. The group is still young, so with a solid release like this, there is no telling what else the group has in store.