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socal sounds: fashion jackson

Based in San Diego, the surf-rock band Fashion Jackson has been capturing listeners with their music since they formed in 2016. They quickly released two EPs in 2017, which were produced in Eddy Allen’s bedroom, the guitarist and vocalist for the band. Their first EP entitled Gossamer is a four-track masterpiece and serves as a great introduction to the band’s style. The title track contains a catchy hook that could easily get stuck in your head all day. The band takes a peculiar risk, writing the song as a genuine conversation between a guy and girl, making the girl sound like a martian. Needless to say, the risk definitely pays off. It introduces the listener to a common theme found in Fashion Jackson’s music: they release music that is musically ambiguous, that they enjoy, and that doesn’t fit a mold. Another track on the EP is called “Untitled.” With keen influences heard from The 1975, this song contains heavy electric guitar, a Fashion Jackson staple, with rhythmic percussion patterns. The EP closes with a demo track of a later released song, “Just Like Baby Jesus,” displaying smooth, authentic vocals and soft guitar.

The next EP released, It Doesn’t Rain in California, procures and exhibits the variations of genres that influence Fashion Jackson. The track, “Sleep Paralysis,” takes Fashion Jackson back to their reggae roots, as bassist Sterling Gietzen and drummer Shawn Gardner initially connected through an old reggae ensemble. The reggae vibes mixed with flaring electric guitar and drums combines swimmingly with the smooth, raspy track vocals and synths to create an effortless sound.

The band came in with a bang in 2018, releasing three singles before releasing a new EP: “Honey,” “Penelope,” and “Cinnamon Burn” featuring JARA. From the eccentric plucking patterns in the breakdowns of “Honey,” the synth keys and rock and roll chorus of “Penelope,” to the soul undertones of “Cinnamon Burn,” Fashion Jackson begun to make quite the name for themselves. They released their third EP, Rare, which kicks off with one of my favorite tracks, “Olivia.” With the combinations of ear-catching guitar and rhythmic strumming patterns provided by Eddy Allen and Jake Nuffer, the raspy and grunge-inspired vocals create the perfect song to listen to all day. This album closes with a studio version of “Just Like Baby Jesus,” the demo track that was previously featured on their debut EP. To close out the year, the released the single “All Night.” Straying away from their surf-rock mantra, this song reinforces the risk taking many people tend to shy away from, but not Fashion Jackson. The influences on this song naturally flows between influences such as King Krule to Brockhampton. They opened the current year by releasing “Shiloh,” a classic rock homage piece oozing with electric guitar riffs.

The most intriguing part about Fashion Jackson can easily be attributed to their instrumental tracks, seen in their song “Plaster of Paris” that provides a flurry of synthesized rhythms. “High in an Elevator” is my personal favorite Fashion Jackson song. It presents themes of nostalgic 70s rock and makes me feel like I am listening to a garage jam session. If you’re ever in the San Diego or Ocean Beach area, make sure to browse around and see if Fashion Jackson is playing a gig. They’re playing a homecoming show at The Irenic in San Diego on March 22nd and a show at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana on April 19th.

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