Whuh? Thing is, these images (and there are quite a few more like this), when coupled with the music and Sykes's simple, almost matter-of-fact vocal mixed dry and way up front become almost undeniable.
"Don't Let Me Go" is about as up-tempo as Sykes and her colleagues get here. It's a dreamscape barroom plaint in which the last "go" of the title line is held through three beautiful chord changes. It's got drums, a sweet and sexy boom-chick, way off in the distance.
This album really made me want to play the "Meets The" game, so I will. Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter is Cowboy Junkies meets Hugo Largo (anyone remember them?) meets (well, sort of glances at) Freakwater. That's the best I can do. Others have called it "twang noir" an apt moniker, for which I wish I could claim credit. See what you think.
Sykes's show at the Old Town is sure to be packed. Prepare to be meaningfully sad.
[Originally published in May, 2003.]