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The Jezabels – “Stand and Deliver”

I will always remember “Stand and Deliver” as the moment The Jezabels went from being a good band to a downright phenomenal one.  I’ve always loved Hayley Mary’s booming voice, whether it came in the form of Prisoner‘s rock or The Brink‘s 80’s synth-dance vibes, but untapped potential remained…her voice has the depth and range to unleash something otherworldly – something bombastic and unexpected.  As the introduction to 2016’s Synthia, that’s precisely what “Stand and Deliver” accomplished.

At seven and a half minutes in length, the song covers a lot of ground.  Riding in on glistening electronic keystrokes, it gradually increases in tempo while building towards Hayley Mary’s gorgeous, spoken-word introduction. The more the song unravels, the more her biting sarcasm begins to reveal itself, as Hayley beckons “come and give a bitch a kiss” during a precursor to a choral, almost operatic chant.  One of my favorite moments is when all the noise cuts out, and Hayley – sounding alone on the stage – sings “what’s a girl to do, standing in the spotlight?”  The answer is clearly to make the most epic song of her career, on a lengthy album opener that reaches almost Queen-levels of ambition.  The back portion then ascends into a cloud of percussive ferocity, overshadowing the electric guitar splashes that one can lightly make out in the background.  Finally, it all comes crashing back down to earth on a pillow of softly sung verses. The range in both style and intensity on “Stand and Deliver” is a thing of beauty, and it’s the definitive song by one of this decade’s most important female fronted indie-rock acts.

Read more from this decade at my homepage for Sowing’s Songs of the Decade.





SowingSeason
03.24.19
In which I continue to be that asshole who pushes other blogs off the front page with his relentless posts.

bgillesp
03.24.19
1lpd!!!

dedex
03.24.19
Didn't know that one and just listened to the album, which is excellent, it reminded of The National with female vocals. Thanks for that series, it helps me revisit/discover artists, perfect for the decade top 100

SowingSeason
03.24.19
Glad you're getting something out of it dedex! I've been really enjoying revisiting all this stuff.

Papa Universe
03.24.19
great pick right there.
papa out

gryndstone
03.25.19
your money or your life!

neekafat
03.25.19
Not saying anything by this whatsoever but is this three first female fronted song on this list?

SowingSeason
03.25.19
Oddly enough it is but it certainly won't be the last. I actually have had at least 40 songs queued up for a while now and I can tell you there's more where this came from. ;-)

Papa Universe
03.25.19
he still hasn't written anything about Lorde or Eiffel... those are women, right?

SowingSeason
03.25.19
one of those will definitely be on this list eventually

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