The first thing I noticed about Jettie’s sophomore album, Kites for Charity, is that they impress right out of the gate. I later came to realize that the Swedish duo then continued to impress with song after song. You’ve probably never heard of Jettie. I sure hadn’t. And seeing that the album is released on Eyeball, you might think them to share similar traits with Eyeball alums My Chemical Romance or Thursday, but that turns out to be far from the mark. In reality, Jettie creates anthemic British-style pop, you know, the kind that was really popular in the early part of this century.
Clas Bohman and Anders Gransmark team up to deliver track after track of soaring, gravelly voiced pulse pounders, the likes of which have only been found with particular singles rather than entire albums. I’ve been captivated in the past by music like this, and thanks to Jettie, could easily be again. Remember the days when Coldplay were relevant? (Though that might change with a heavily touted fourth album helmed by Brian Eno, so I may have spoken too soon) Remember when Doves’ “Caught by the River,” Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” and Embrace’s “Ashes” were the songs that everyone loved to sing along with? Well, that’s what it’s like with Jettie, except that each song is a potential single.
“Start / Stop” opens up the floodgates with a Coldplay-like dramatic keyboard white noise and delicate guitar, then, as would be both expected and necessary, explodes in a wash of the musical equivalent of the sensation of flying. “Epic City Parade” continues in much the same fashion, with more than a little nod to U2. “Ticking” is one of the real standouts, achieving the kind of emotional highs of a Snow Patrol song, yet somehow without the pretentious angst. “Carraria Via” tends to veer more toward the type of whispery minimalism found in songs by Sigur Rós, and in doing so, succeeds. “The Sky Over Santa Rosa” brings us back to early ’00s grandiose pop, the kind that you just can’t help to sing along with. The genius of Jettie, as well as the other bands mentioned in this review, is that they somehow find that magical formula that keeps particular keyboard riffs playing over and over in your head.
Some would say that Jettie has arrived a little late to the anthemic rock party, but with a band that’s this good, it’s better late than never. There’s always room for more catchy, well-written pop in the world, especially if songs are as captivating as the ones on Kites for Charity. They also managed to pick the perfect album title, as listening to Jettie can manage to give you that feeling of weightlessness, as if carried up by a strong breeze, tied to the earth only by the hands of a child.
Embrace- Out of Nothing
Doves- The Last Broadcast
I Am Kloot- I Am Kloot