The Jar Family’s ‘Jarmalade’

Fans of folk rock music should gather round and crack open a pot of Jarmalade, courtesy of The Jar Family. Hartlepool’s own industrial folk outfit bring traditional folk music back to the hypothetical table.

Having formed in 2010, The Jar Family consists of a collective of solo singer-songwriters, of whom joined forces and created a rather diverse, yet complimenting portfolio of tracks. The original outfit were joined by the former Squeeze and Jools Holland Big Band bassist, Keith Wilkinson, for the making of their debut album, The Jar Family Album. Now they’re back with the humorously titled second album, Jarmalade.

Living beneath the breadline, struggling on minimum wage and tackling the impending reality of homelessness, the tales told by the band appear more organic than has recently become the norm of mainstream folk artists – no public schools or privilege mars these boy’s folk roots.

Paint Me a Picture illustrates this perspective vividly; a song about struggle and how lady luck can offer an unfair hand.

Other interesting finds on this album include: You’ll Never Know Me. Complimented with an infectious lead guitar squeal throughout, issues of the cancerous reliance upon social media in modern day interactions really becomes the victim of scrutiny here. Indeed, a seemingly genuine preach to the lost souls of the Facebook generation.

Easily the most standout track upon this album, Machine has the legitimate tooling to take the mainstream by storm. A powerful and addictive take on the state of the world’s media and the unquestioned loyalty of those who choose to consume it. Indeed this song will cause an involuntary, yet not unappreciated, circulation of the chorus ‘Get on the machine’ for hours upon end.

Other interesting tracks include the rather fun Tell Me, Baby and the funky Moya Moya.

Recently, the band have opened up for sold out shows, including: Ocean Colour Scene, The Charlatans and Babyshambles, and have had their single release of Machine become one of the top five most played tracks in football stadiums across the country earlier this year. Furthermore, Machine can also claim to having been adopted by the Formula One circuit for the Barcelona Grand Prix, the Caterham racing team and BBC’s F1 coverage.

The road lays paved ahead of The Jar Family. Only time will tell if they become a household name. With such strong lyrics and varying styles amongst the Jarmalade album, in addition to a spirited live act, my money would be on them succeeding.

Jarmalade is available to purchase from Amazon and all major retailers from 26 August 2013.


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