This week I’ve been in the middle of a crazy mad push before a huge show for my band. I want everyone to come, so I’m reaching out on social media, in-person, and at networking events like Balanced Breakfast. This Saturday, my band Great Highway is putting on its largest concert ever, a charity show at Bottom of the Hill. All proceeds help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This is an important show for me because Lymphoma is the cancer that almost took my life in 2018.
With the minutes ticking away until the big show begins, life feels pretty insane, and I feel like I’m rushing from Point A to Point Z. However, to prove to myself that I’m still in touch with the local Bay Area music scene, even in times of the MOST chaos, I am taking a break to write this blog post. It is a beautiful morning and I’m sitting on the grass at the shores of Lake Merritt, listening to a new project by Nick Bray, the lead singer of EagleWolfSnake.
If you don’t know EagleWolfSnake, their overdriven David-Bowie-throwback indie rock has been delighting local audiences for years, since their clashing high-energy debut album in 2015, appropriately titled “Zang!” (I didn’t have to insert the exclamation mark, it was there already.)
I love EagleWolf and enjoyed playing a show with them a couple of years back in Berkeley. They’re fun, jam-y, raucous, and intense, but my heart will always be with electronic music. Thus lead singer Nick Bray’s solo project, going under the moniker Jesse Judies, is hitting that sweet spot for me. It is the perfect marriage of classic rock and roll with a modern electro sound.
Check out “None of it Stays,” with ethereal background vocals paralleling long 80s-y whole-note chord synths, all soaring over an organic, moving funk bass line. Or listen to the almost trop-house (look it up) vibes of “Silvestre,” which has one of my favorite lyrics of Nick’s: “Just when I begin / to live a life, the consequence of skin / a wilderness I dreamt about.” Mmm!
If you’re hooked like I am, check out Nick’s newest single “This Is Gonna Happen,” to released today, Friday, November 1st. Face-melting chorusing bass synths, space-y extragalactic lead lines, and Nick’s now-patented driving, relentless octave’d lead vocals, joined by lush dreamy harmonies from musical partner Katrina Bushnell…this is Nick’s best work yet. It’s the ultimate melding of his old sound and his new. I can’t wait for you all to hear it on Friday, and I can’t wait to see you all Saturday!