While we anxiously await Tarantula Mansion, the first full length album from Detroit's Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas, here is something to help make the long wait less painful. Demons is the second EP of studio material to be released by the band, and their first since 2010. It also marks the start of the next phase in the upward career trajectory of one of Detroit's best bands.
Detroit Jess and The Deltas have seen their debut album sit in limbo over the last year, mainly due to Blue Note Records changing hands. Smartly gaining control of the album back, Hernandez has finally appeared to have found the right label to release her music, signing a deal with Richard Gottehrer's recently revived Instant Records label. Even a brief overview of Gottehrer's career in the music business brings light to why this partnership makes sense for Hernandez. From co-songwriter of 60's hits like "I Want Candy" and "My Boyfriend's Back" to co-founding Sire Records in 1966 to producing big name female led bands like Blondie and The Go-Go's, Gottehrer has been a pioneering influence in the music business. He plans for Instant Records to focus on female artists he considers innovative and exciting, making Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas a perfect fit for the label.
Demons offers both the chance to hear studio versions of songs I've been hearing Hernandez and The Deltas play live for awhile now, as well as new material I am unfamiliar with. The first two songs fall in the former category with the title track being one of my favorites of the live set. It loses nothing in its transition to the studio and serves as a great introduction to the band's music for those new to it. It's soulful yet it rocks, just one example of why this band cannot be easily categorized. "Caught Up" is another long time live favorite. The version on this EP is different from the studio version that appeared on a single given out at the band's show earlier this year at St. Andrews Hall. It is not a drastically new version but it is obviously a new mix and sounds great. Check out a live performance of the song below.
The EP's last three tracks showcase the band's versatility and Hernandez' amazing vocal prowess, especially on the dark ballad "Shadow Boy". "Big Town" boasts a bouncy piano line and horns to the fore. The guitar riff on closer "Picture Me With You (Carnie Threesome)" will stick in your head, it's an addictive track on a wonderful introduction to Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas. Now it's time for the rest of the country to discover what we already know in Detroit and give this band the wider audience it deserves.
Favorite tracks: "Demons", "Caught Up", "Shadow Boy"
Demons is released as a digital download November 12, 2013 via Instant Records. A physical CD release will be in stores December 3rd.