Jennie Vee lies somewhere between the glistening new wave pop of Blondie and the sharp cool futurism of The Jetson’s. The cover of her debut album, Spying, tells the full story: sharp lines, panda eyes, detached melancholia, aching style.
Spying is a place where troubled detachment meets feisty passion. A mixture of hot and cold textures and tastes collide. Love meets loss. Interaction meets isolation. The nearer she gets, the further away she gets. Jennie remains a paradox: both the girl next door and the unassailable star. She’s glam icon and punk tearaway at once.
And so, subtle flavours of dreampop, new wave, post-punk, bubblegum and electro are combined. Like little gemstones of music history. You’ll find shards of The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, Siousxie & The Banshees and New Order in there. From contemporary music, the spectre of The Raveonettes looms large. Essentially if you like catchy songs with sharp guitars this is for you. Spying is for everyone sensible, then.
Throughout, the guitars are spiking peaks of pleasure, the drums mechanically stuttering nerve agents of rhythm. Jennie’s vocals veer from coquettish to a femme fatale hush. Sometimes she displays a starry-eyed child-like wonder, elsewhere we find her at the realisation that summer is over and things will never be the same again…
“Why do you break everything you touch?”
Let’s look at some of the highlights:
‘Delicious’ is a pure winner, with a short, breathless drag race of pleasure. Tangy punk-lite with a hint of The Rezillos.
‘Real Eyes’ slides down like delicious poison; as if someone has twisted anti-freeze with blueberries.. It has the same wintry passion and slow burn chorus of The Reegs ‘Chorus Of The Lost’.
‘So Hard’ has a tumbling sensation, like champagne springing from a mountain glade. The song is practically tripping over itself, eager for more.
‘Sleep It Off’ could easily have been created by The Chameleons for the glacial nostalgia of What Does Anything Mean? Basically. Each shuddering twang of the bass ripples like a cold night in Manchester in the 1980s.
‘Kiss The Dust’ clips along with a rocketing thrust, Jennie sounding like an astronaut on a collision course with oblivion.
A place where heartache is sweet and pleasure is never what it seems…
Jennie’s debut EP Die Alone was one of the best releases of 2014. Read the review here.