MP3 The Jane Anchor - Second Wave
Guitarist/vocalist Kara Lafty, makes speedy, Windex-bright pop - She''s got a knack for crafting beguiling, invigorating rock.
11 MP3 Songs
POP: Power Pop, ROCK: Modern Rock
With the November ''04 release of their first full-length album, "Second Wave" (Lark Lane Records), Philly rockers, The Jane Anchor, led by singer / guitarist Kara Lafty, is primed to make an ocean-sized splash onto the national scene. The eleven-song follow-up to TJA''s 2003 "Just Wait EP" didn''t come together in one night, or in one year, but developed over a course of life lessons," says Lafty. From the opening track "Crawl," with its wall of guitars washing over vulnerable lyrics ("I''d give up everything just to crawl inside"), to the sparsely beautiful "Summer," showcasing Lafty''s earthy guitar and wistful voice ("I am counting my way to sleep / A million kisses and I''m falling deep"), "Second Wave" showcases a songwriter and band with an impressive palette of musical colors and moods. Lafty is joined by bassist Joann Schmidt, guitarist / vocalist John Faye, and drummer Dave Anthony, all members of another notable Philadelphia band, IKE. The chemistry and camaraderie that shines in their explosive live shows and on record is a combination that Lafty had searched for in previous incarnations of TJA, all of which were well-received but still left her with the feeling that she could push herself and her music further.
The seeds for the current lineup of the band were planted in 2002, when Schmidt, then the drummer of the all-girl Philly darlings, The Dirty Triplets (and a fan of Lafty''s former band Sonny Sixkiller), recruited Lafty as lead guitarist to make the Triplets, ironically, a quartet. While the Dirty Triplets burned out in less than a year, Schmidt and Lafty forged a close friendship which would become the emotional core of TJA. With the addition of Faye as a second guitarist, playing a supporting musical role for the first time in his career (in addition to fronting IKE, he was also the leader of the mid-90''s band The Caulfields) , and, in the summer of ''03, Anthony on drums, The Jane Anchor was now set to record Lafty''s most heartfelt and earnest songs to date.
Racing down the freeway, make this car go faster.
The process of bringing "Second Wave" to completion was not easy. The sessions, recorded and co-produced by Cliff Hillis, were spread out over six months, as the band found small windows of time within their busy schedules to journey down to Target Studios in Maryland and Hillis'' home studio, Better Living Through Compression, located in Wilmington, DE. It was within those closed quarters, however, that Lafty delivered the strongest vocal performances of her career. "I think Kara sang so incredibly because the material demands it," states Faye, whose own impassioned back-up singing provides the girl-boy vocal dynamic that defines TJA. And it''s true - the 11 songs on the record are a testimony to what Lafty has endured, overcome, and been challenged by over the past several years. "Skyline" showcases Lafty''s empathetic side as she sings, "Flying fists and bleeding hearts / I wonder why there''s a hole in the skyline / It''s come to this / Flying fists beating straight through," seeking understanding in a post 9/11 world. "Give Me A Reason" and the rocker "Anniversary" are Lafty at her lyrical best as she dissects personal relationships with brutal honesty. "The Rays" and the aforementioned "Summer" highlight Lafty''s softer side, offering glowing pop daydreams reminiscent of The Innocence Mission.
In spite of the inherent difficulties of moving a band forward, The Jane Anchor is ready to ride "Second Wave" to new audiences in Philadelphia and far beyond the city limits, delivering on the promise and considerable buzz generated by "Just Wait." The band has already become a familiar name on many college play lists and has shared stages with such notable acts as Fountains of Wayne, Juliana Hatfield, The Damnwells, The Butchies, Mates of State, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. In a review of "Just Wait," M.J. Fine of the Philadelphia City Paper stated, "A great song can blow your mind and wrest control of your body. Most bands would be lucky to write one in their career." With "Second Wave," The Jane Anchor prove themselves lucky and much, much more.