Jetty Bones have always had an interesting presence within the indie-punk and pop-punk scenes, mostly because it’s difficult to think of a single act currently around to fully compare them to. Both genres have plenty of acts trafficking in deep, unfettered introspection, but none with as strident a pop focus as this, and while bands like Charly Bliss do lean into the more indie-pop side of things, it’s a lot easier to draw the parallels between Jetty Bones and the pop-punk bands of the 2000s. The only one that really comes to mind is the much-missed Candy Hearts, and that should be taken as the highest of compliments; that band really were something special that never got the appropriate opportunities to show it, and Kelc Galluzzo has come the closest to channelling that excellence with her work. Indeed, Jetty Bones have been doing a lot of great things recently, whether that’s a deftly melodic and infectious approach to songcraft, or leaning towards more concept-driven EPs to give their aforementioned introspection more weight and gravity, and – (pronounced ‘hyphen’) only looks to build on that already-impressive groundwork.
Therefore, it doesn’t feel coincidental in the slightest that Candy Hearts are among the first touchstones to come up when listening to –, not necessarily from a sonic perspective, but in the way that Galluzzo takes instantly recognisable pop-rock and indie-pop frameworks and crafts something so much more emotionally concentrated throughout them. But even with those comparisons, this is still its own thing, with Galluzzo crafting a sound that’s unfailingly contemporary in execution yet with a remarkably human heart than can be felt in almost every moment. Basically, in many cases, this feels like a standard-setter for modern pop-rock.
That’s a rather bold claim to make, but it’s justified when considering Galluzzo’s gravitas and weary presence, standing as a paragon of realism in a notoriously artificial genre. A lot of that is down to how much this EP is underscored by themes of transition and closure, and moving into the unknown to escape harmful or toxic situations. There’s a tremendous amount of pathos in the tumult of tracks like better and the part:, but there’s also maturity in moving on for one’s own benefit, and at least trying to grow as better person because of it on To Know You…, even if that doesn’t last on The Rest Of Them., and the same damage continues to repeat. It’s certainly easy to apply so much of this to pop-rock’s typical breakup mould, but Galluzzo’s intentions feel a lot more human and realistic, moving away from stylised angst and into real emotions that make for more compelling listening.
The execution takes a similar route too, and while the smaller scale has always been beneficial when it comes to playing to emotions like these, the decision to add electronics as a larger part of the overall canvas is one that brings in that clearer, more distanced mood when it needs to. The most obvious example is the end of the part: with its text-to-speech admissions that foster such a profoundly melancholy air, but even in just making these songs feel a bit fuller and sharper like on better and (jogging), the changes are noticeable. There’s a cleanliness that matches Galluzzo’s sweet but undeniably malleable vocals, but never so much that it feels overly clandestine or saccharine; – can excellently cultivate a mood that allows itself to breathe, and doing so makes for a refreshingly thoughtful listen.
Even then though, there isn’t a lot to say about an EP this low-key by design, even if Galluzzo’s ideas still make it thoroughly enjoyable all the same. It’s personal pop-rock that could appeal to great numbers of people, but with a decidedly insular take on a genre known for being anything but, – is able to stand out and forge its own path as a totally creative entity. And again, that might be fairly loaded, but there’s something potentially special in Jetty Bones that, with a bit more time to grow, could see this be a project that hits some seriously impressive heights.
For fans of: Candy Hearts, Super American, The Sonder Bombs
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘-‘ by Jetty Bones is released on 22nd February on Take This To Heart Records.