Part of what makes modern folk-rock acts like Mac DeMarco so memorable is their ability to walk a tightrope between self-deprecating humor, snarky remarks, and heartfelt wisdom. And it makes sense. When you crack a joke or make a bleak shock-value statement, it quickly establishes a surface-level rapport and opens a threshold towards deeper reflections and tougher truths. But channelling that cavalier attitude while carrying authentic emotional weight and managing to stay catchy in the context of a song?
Austin songwriter Jefrey Siler has been living “at the corner of sincere and sardonic” since debuting Yellow Means Infection! in 2010. Yet outside of two singles from 2020, Siler’s studio output has been close to silent in the past decade. Well, this Friday Siler jumps back into action with Jefinitely.
Produced by The Shins’ Yuuki Matthews and recorded in Brooklyn with members of Devendra Banhart and Sufjan Stevens, Jefinitely is a killer counterpart to Yellow Means Infection!, which also totaled in at ten tracks. Just like its predecessor, Jefinitely is jam-packed with confessional crooning, intriguing instrumentation, and yeah…some beautifully flawed storytelling. Perfect example: “Wounded in Similar Ways”, whose acoustic guitar arpeggios and galloping tom-tom cadence make you overlook that the title is “something a hippie might say”. And although Jefrey’s vocal register is about two octaves lower than Justin Vernon’s, the gorgeous choral harmonies remind us of the arrangements on Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, sending Siler into the upper echelon of inventive indie-folk-rock.
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