Artist to Watch: Jet Black Alley Cat


Artist to Watch: Jet Black Alley Cat

by Josie Olmos

image from band’s Facebook


Fresh out of Memphis, Tennessee, Jet Black Alley Cat (JBAC) has set a determined goal to reinstitute a groovy sound into the indie ­rock genre. With only a few singles out, three to be exact, they have already obtained recognition from MTV and a wide Twitter audience. That is how I became familiar with them about a year ago.

Here is how the process works; Jessica, the street team leader of the group, roams the virtual streets of Twitter handing out links of the band’s music in order to gain more attraction. If you have been to music festivals such as Warped Tour, Lollapalooza, Firefly, etc., you’ll usually run into street team members promoting local bands/artists. Something unique about Jet Black Alley Cat is how they take advantage of the Twitter streets when not on out on literal streets.

The way they do it has no hoops or obstacles to it. In fact, it is quite a logical process: Jessica filters out tweets with keywords of similar bands or artists, so that the person who tweeted can already have a minimum interest in listening to new music.

The music itself is definitely a spin on indie rock because of this “groovy” motto the band wraps itself in. ‘Poison’ is their #1 single at the moment. Their technicolor music video is pleasing to the eye, and the layers of electric guitar provide the typical indie rock vibe. This element of groove is essential to this band, and all three of their singles have this common theme.

I had to look up the definition of “groovy” before writing about it because I do not carry a locked nostalgia when contemplating on the upbeat sound. It requires more than a Motown sensation to understand what a groove is. Music that is groovy is typically composed of insistent beats or rhythms. The most important aspect of this band’s way of utilizing the term “groove” is how it is less of a technicality to music but a mood that they would prefer you ingest before sticking in your ear buds. In other words, it is the pregame of clicking play. This tactic is an intelligent trap and twist to indie rock. If it were not for Jet Black Alley Cat, I would have never voluntarily picked out a record with a groovy touch. Even their slower single, Memphis, carries a consistent beat with vibrancy. When the wide range of vocals are attached, you get sound waves that are remind me of every stage of a backyard kickback. ‘Electric Raazors’ reminds sets me in a getting ready mood, en route to a friend’s house, to the beginning of the party. ‘Poison’ is a perfect clip while enjoying the kickback, and ‘Memphis’ is the last stage of the kickback, the ending scenario of a party where everyone gathers their jacket off the folded chair next to the fire pit before walking out the door.

Jet Black Alley Cat typically performs in various local bars across the midwest and east coast when going on tour, but hopefully, as their audience increases towards the west those dates will begin to sprout as well. JBAC’s music can be streamed online via Spotify, Apple Music, and their music videos are available on YouTube. They can also be easily reached on Twitter (band account: @JBACmusic, street team: @JBACStreetTeam). Feel free to send them some love and enjoy their groove!