h

Jaala: Joonya Spirit

The sophomore album from Jaala sees the Melbourne band dig deeper down their odd-funk alt-rock rabbit hole.

Fully fleshing out the mellow sounds displayed on the 2016 single and album closer ‘Junior Spirit’, the almost-title track perfectly rounds out Jaala’s exploration of their unique smooth-gritty dynamic.

With slow, sombre vocals and instrumentation building to an understated chorus, ‘Horn’ is one of the album’s smoother tracks. ‘Frogs Tears’ sees the band at their grittiest, with grungy guitars and thudding drums guided by vocalist Cosi Jaala’s soothing vocals. 

The sonic contrasts keep you on your toes; you’re never completely safe as impassioned growls and tempo switch-ups shoot out unexpectedly across the album’s eight tracks.

Staccato funk oozes out of ‘Good Circuit’, a completely fresh blend of bouncing beats and dynamic guitars, shifting from beat-drivers to jagged showpieces as the track requires. The raw mesh of sound here renders it one of Joonya Spirit’sstandouts.

Such is the diversity within their sound, Jaala could slide into a sweaty psych-rock festival as easily as they could mesmerise a hazy jazz club. Great stuff from one of the city’s most captivating acts. 

8/10