On a cold, wet and wintery August night, I had the ultimate pleasure of hosting Sydney folk-noir duo, Jep and Dep’s first Parlour Gig in my lounge room.
For those who haven’t heard of Parlour Gigs, this little innovative Melbourne based company organises local musicians to perform at your house. As a host wannabe, all you need to do is apply for the artist you want to play at your house. If accepted, the elves at Parlour will set up ticket sales and send you a link to send to friends (or you can make it a public event if you wish). Then you can nominate the time and date of the event and if it fits in with the artist, you just leave it in the capable hands of the Parlour team. They will set up the link for you in just a few hours! Sounds easy because it really is!
Best part of being a host – you can set up your space as you wish! As this event was held in winter, we had fairy lights, candles and a warm fire going, along with food and drinks for our guests. Creating the right atmosphere is essential to produce the vibe you want for your event. Ideally, you would want the atmosphere to suit the type of music your artist plays. For me, it was all about creating a cosy, warm and dimly lit environment. Hence, I’ll keep the strobe light and smoke machine packed away for another event.
Darren Cross + Jessica Cassar = Jep and Dep
Being a big fan of Sydney band, “Gerling” back in the day, it was such an honour to have Darren Cross come and play for us with his more recent outfit, Jep and Dep. Darren has
taken a different path with this band, going from the crazy and energetic guitars and samplers in Gerling, to an acoustic “folk-noir” band. Jep and Dep are a duo made up of Darren (Dep) and the amazingly talented Jessica Cassar (Jep), both hailing from Sydney. The band were in Melbourne last weekend to launch their second album “THEY’VEBEENCALLED” (a lyric from the Poor Little Rich Kids track).
Jep and Dep have been described as ethereal, haunting, and ambient and I cannot fault any of those descriptions if you were after “classifications”. There is something very emotionally fragile yet intense and profound about this duo. I found it extremely surprising that this is the first band Jessica has been in. Jess comes across confident and entertaining and her voice is truly incredible, enough to send shivers down your spine. Just one listen and you’ll be hooked.
The album carries serious tones throughout, and the fact that the majority of the album was recorded during the wee hours of the night when all the surrounding neighbours were asleep, adds a touch of the night skies vibe.
Furthermore, they have nailed the lyrics. By that I mean they have met that fine line in song writing where a song can mean something different to you (as the listener) than what the song is actually about. You know how song lyrics can sometimes be so obvious that you can’t relate to it? Don’t get me wrong, I like a good story teller, but I also like lyrics to be a bit obscure so that the audience can connect with the song however they like, making it more sentimental and personable. “To the left, to the left…” doesn’t really resonate with me. Just sayin’….
While we’re on the subject, the actual meaning of the songs do range from the incorrigible state of gentrification, to a hostage love song, and a song about lost rich kids. The sobering tones of these songs must have been a little difficult for the band to perform while dealing with the crowds jokes (I refuse to say “heckle” because it was all in loving jest). However, Darren and Jess took it well and reciprocated just as the humble and lovely people they both are. This makes the experience more memorable and personable.
“My Berlin” seemed to be voted as the crowds favourite song from the new album and was played and sung with such sincerity and sentimentality. A great moment.
For lovers of the previous album, WORD GOT OUT, the track “Granted” gained lots of cheers. Well to be honest, I couldn’t hear others over my own cheering but hey, it’s because I love that song so much!
The surprise rendition of Kylie’s “Confide in Me” had everyone hanging on the edge of their seat (or floor cushion). This performance was so awe-inspiring. You could feel your heart beating like it was going to burst out of your chest. Seriously incredible stuff. This band is a must see.
NO DRUMS RECORDS
Truly independent bands are a dying breed. Therefore, knowing that Jep and Dep have recorded, produced and released this album on Darren’s own independent “No Drums” record label, arranged all the CD and record pressings, distribution and promotion, just makes us want to support this band even more! Having total creative control with their music is so important to this band which makes them even more magical!!
Photographs by Minouche Wojciechowski of Frame and Shoot