Sometimes, out of great turmoil comes great beauty.
It had been a few years since we'd heard anything new from Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, and when we got the group into the KEXP studio, I found out why: Bassist Bill Herzog had recently become a dad, some of the band members' loved ones had passed away, and Sykes and the group's guitarist and songwriter Phil Wandscher (formerly of Whiskeytown) had ended their 10-year relationship.
That's a lot for one band to endure, but Sykes and her colleagues transformed the setbacks into their strongest album, Marble Son. As Sykes explained during the session interview, "There was beauty, and there was heaviness, and we needed to sonically mirror that."
And all I could think as they tore into their dark, hypnotic in-studio session at KEXP that afternoon — as Wandscher's epic guitar solos entranced me and Sykes' warm and welcoming voice washed over — was what an effective reflection it was.