Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas – ‘Demons’
Dead Owl Music
Jessica Hernandez has a beautiful voice and here, it’s the strongest counter agent to some of the angst and bitterness stirred into this E.P.’s five songs. The Deltas are known for a bit of classy, big-band revivalism, trombones and organs inevitably conjure that old school jazz style, only augmented by the Detroit-raised singer’s dynamic quaver atop the shuffling rhythms and bending guitar statements. But this is more a guitar-heavy, caustic cutting indie-rock record than some woozy-bluesy throwback-batch of ballads; the raking guitars sound ornery, the organs are uncharacteristically brooding with distortion and the rhythms rumble like their throwing a shoulder into you –
Not that it’s a break-stuff kinda-record. Pop melodies and the sweet timbre of Hernandez’ voice charm the aggravated verbiage of the lyrics down to a simmer. Recurring themes include returning to origins, seeking new perspectives that puncture the allure of “Big Town(s)” and becoming okay with solitude. “I got caught up, lying to myself… I need your help,” she sings over the scorching rock bluster of “Caught Up.” The demons, here, are ones to be exorcised, particularly over a louder, more forceful style of music than she’s previously employed.