Jetty Bones’ last release, 2017’s Old Women EP, was a bright burst of pop-rock. The band has described it as “a story of progress, growth, and the development of human connection,” and its optimistic message was certainly matched by its jaunty sound. - (pronounced “hyphen”) is the follow-up to Old Women, and the band has – called a more “brisk, contemplative” EP.
It’s true, - is darker, lyrically, than previous Jetty Bones releases, covering such topics as trauma, abuse, and mental health. The opener, “”Better,”” dives straight into the themes of the EP, addressing frankly an abusive relationship vocalist Kelc Galluzzo had been in. “It’s pretty easy keeping quiet,” she sing-speaks in the track’s second verse, “when your mouth’s sealed shut by someone else’s violence.” Galluzzo finds herself “need[ing] someone to talk to” on “the part:” “before this becomes a dying dire situation.” There’s little reprieve to be found on – until the closing “The Rest of Them.” Galluzzo admits that she always thinks “everything’s my fault, even when it’s not,” before catching herself and asserting that no, “it’s not.” It’s a direct rebuke to the hook of “”Better,”” a victim-blaming chorus telling Galluzzo that she “should’ve known better.”
If you don’t pay attention to the lyrics, though, it’s easy to miss all that. Every verse on – is strong enough to be a hook, and the hooks are sure to be stuck in your head for days. The lead single from – was “Bringing It Up,” the catchiest track on the EP, and it doesn’t even have a real chorus. Even “”Better,”” for how devastating its narrative is, is an undeniable earworm. It bears mentioning, too, how impressive Galluzzo is as a vocalist. She has sounded completely at ease throughout the entire EP, just as comfortable over the electronic intro of “”Better”” as she is during the pop-punk bombast of “Bringing It Up.” Then there’s the jangly “(jogging),” which features her best vocal performance on all of -. She shifts from soft, breathy crooning to a deeper register during the song’s piano-studded bridge, handily proving herself one of the most capable vocalists in the genre.
The result of all of this, of course, is Jetty Bones’ best work to date and an early (admittedly very early) contender for one of the best EPs of the year. It is itself “a story of progress” and “growth,” not only lyrically but also musically and conceptually. It is, in sum, the sound of an artist totally in control over her craft and her story.