Residencies at The Gasometer rarely do me wrong. So when the much buzzed Jaala (cut from the Melbourne beast that is Mangelwurzel) filled the Tuesday in March space, it was a given I’d be going.
Support band Hearing were the kind of dreamy indie that you could drive into the desert with, with your hands out the window trying to trace the wind. Except with every jangle of their tin-cased guitars riffs the old car would jolt on the ungraded road and you’d cross your fingers and hope that you would make it through on what felt like suspension built of rubber bands and coke bottles. It was kind and warm and full of promise considering Hearing haven’t been around for very long.
Opening with familiarity, Jaala‘s ‘Salt Shaker’ rattled through The Gasometer with guitars that shimmered and drums that pattered. With the bones and skulls of small unfortunate animals strewn before the stage, the imagery conjured by Hearing’s songs was carrying through into the main set. I was still wandering the desert, except now I had tripped and fallen into a hole in the sand, nosedived through the earth and popped out the other side, wide-eyed and suddenly careening through space with Jaala as the soundtrack.
It’s a mild psychedelic trip made from understated complexity and most importantly, vulnerability. The songs of Jaala rose from heartache and introspection and so when Cosima Jaala and co. perform they essentially share a part of themselves, exposing what has made them hurt and in turn allowing the audience to join in on the catharsis. Like a soft hug with the occasional elbow to the ribcage, it’s music whose brilliance makes you smile and sway but has lyrics to remind that life is kind of shit sometimes. It’s music to lull to sleep to, to jolt awake to, to cry to, to dance to. It’s everything and anything, but more importantly at its core it’s just damn good music.
Jaala are playing every Tuesday at The Gasometer for the month of March. With five nights to play with singer Cosi says each night will be the chance to show off new stuff, so really that means you should probably head to all of them.