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Best of What's Next: Jaill

August 4, 2010  |  6:00am
Best of What's Next: Jaill

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wis.
Album: That’s How We Burn
Members: Ryan Adams (guitar), Austin Dutmer (drums), Andrew Harris (bass), Vincent Kircher (guitar, lead vocals)
For Fans Of: The Kinks, The Clean, Girls

Jaill has never been the most popular or buzzed-about band in Milwaukee’s underground rock scene. Since forming in 2002, the group has played for crowds that never seemed to grow any bigger, recording songs that only their friends seemed to hear. So when news broke last year that venerable Sub Pop Records had signed the band, Jaill’s peers could barely disguise their shock. “That was the funny part, learning what everybody really thinks of your band,” says frontman Vincent Kircher. “Everybody acted so surprised, right down to my girlfriend. It was like, ‘Wait—even you didn’t think we were ever going to get signed?’”

Even if no one else shared his optimism, Kircher always believed the band would eventually get its due—but he says he never rushed to publicize the group until last year, “because the music wasn’t at a point where people needed to hear it.” Jaill refined its sound during all those years playing empty rooms and stuffy basements, stripping away superfluous psychedelic effects until they were left with the naked, unpretentious garage-pop of 2009’s There’s No Sky (Oh My My), the record that caught the ear of Sub Pop’s A&R team.

Like There’s No Sky, Jaill’s Sub Pop debut That’s How We Burn (out now) is giddy with shimmying sock-hop rhythms and the persistent jangle of twin guitars. It was recorded much like the last one—in Milwaukee, with producer Justin Perkins—though this time the band tracked in a real studio, not in the damp basement of a former funeral home. “Justin pushed us to keep recording until we nailed each song, which could be frustrating for me because I usually accept imperfect takes and just learn to love them,” Kircher says. “But when you’re sitting in the studio for 10 or 11 hours a day, it does add to the excitement knowing that this time people are actually going to hear your album.”

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