One of Cleveland’s hardest working bands is finally getting to hold the fruits of their labor in their hands. Apostle Jones released their debut EP, Lilith, today on both physical and digital mediums. The four song EP is a “sampling of some of the directions we’ll be heading with the full length.” according to the groups founding member, singer, keys player, and lead vocalist Mikey Silas.
Lilith does pop off in a few different directions. The opening and title track Lilith leads us through a smoky 1970’s backstage stroll, onto a massive stage flooded with spotlights and thousands of swaying fans. The thick blues guitar of Tyler Ray is delicately woven through the full bass sound of Todd Marshall and heart warming and perfectly placed backing vocals of Jessica Kennan. Silas’s lyrics and delivery will make the hair on your neck stand up, even on your eleventh or twelfth listen.
The next two songs on Lilith, Head Gone and Revoluti
on, capture the energy of Apostle Jones’s live shows. Silas says of the hundred plus shows the band has played in the last two years “My background is in the performing arts, so that has always been an important aspect of this to me.” He adds, “Some band’s figure themselves out and then present themselves, I like to jump in the deep end and figure it out by surviving.”
The best approach to listening to Lilith is to not ever try to figure out where the influences are coming from. If you do your head will be spinning by the end of track two, unless you love crafting sentences like “This song sounds like if Bowie sang for Heart on a circus themed album that Nina Simone wrote and Paul McCartney produced.” Those sentences never really explain anything. The EP is great for relistening, there is always something new to catch whether its a clever lyric or a subtle drum fill, it is a very well constructed piece of work.
Lilith’s closer, Gypsy Rising, is the boldest embodiment of Silas’s statement of the EP being a taste of directions the full length may go. Featuring amazing classical guitar and Bouzouki by Tyler Ray, Gypsy Rising, has an old country feel that never gets cheesy or forced. Silas does not hold back on exploring the guttural depths of his vocal range and witch driven lyrics either.
The album closes out with a bang, and sadly you have to return to reality. But, just remember this is the appetizer for the full length, coming soon. The band is currently in the studio, because what the hell else are you gonna do right now?
The EP was recorded at The Center for Rock Research on Cleveland’s near east side. The Center for Rock Research also happens to have a full stage and the ability to do fully professional live streams of sets. So that is exactly how Apostle Jones kicked off their two day late July recording session. The Live stream is still available to enjoy.
This Saturday Sept 12, Apostle Jones is having a good ol’ fashioned COVID-19 style EP release show at The Music Box in the flats. At the time of writing this there were still reservations available. “It’s basically a bar show, but they need to know where everyone is to comply with covid precautions, so you have to reserve a table.” Silas explains. “We will be playing the whole EP plus some older favorites and songs we’ve enjoyed playing on our patio gigs this summer.”
Apostle Jones just gave us a taste of what is sure to become a classic Cleveland album. Lilith is available on bandcamp and elsewhere for streaming and there are physical copies that you can pick up at Music Box this saturday. Yep, the hair still stands up on your neck the thirteenth and fourteenth time too.
Photo by: Dan Cornelius