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Jolly: Family
Jolly - Family Music Review

Jolly: Family

Melodic Progressive Rock

I had wondered what happened to New York's Jolly. So I was pleasantly surprised when their fourth album, Family, came my way. Several years back Jolly decided to produce and distribute their music on their own to their fans via a Patreon campaign. Their fans, in turn, responded generously, and Jolly began dropping new tunes their way. Now the songs are bundled in one place, a new album in both physical and digital. (Family refers to the Jolly family of fans who have supported them across the years.) The album arrives in two editions, regular and Deluxe, which adds a second disc with five songs. This review considers the former.

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With Family, fans will find Jolly in familiar territory. As they describe themselves on their Twitter account, A NYC band with a unique but familiar sound. Their songs are arrangements of multiple musical textures and devices that engage your curiosity and entertainment. Some patterns arise like a light piano line to define melody, synths and samples that stir atmosphere, a surge of swollen riffage to add alt metal heaviness, subtle vocals and gentle harmony nearing ethereal realms, and soothing to soaring guitar solos to light up the compositions. More often in longer arrangements, such as Lie To Me, Lazarus, and the ten minute Let Go, all these things surface. In the latter song, the tandem piano and guitar lines in the front and back are simply a mesmerizing musical delight.

Alternatively, quirkiness can interrupt the familiar Jolly lucidity. Circuit Heaven offers static-like vocals over a simple beat before rising with riffage and a swell of synths. Eventually the guitar solos knife their way through the lush arrangement. Then there's the closing With Me, a lighter number which develops with piano over synths and samples for a cosmic atmosphere before Anadale drops in a Gilmour-like solo. All in all, and simply, Jolly's Family is another fine album of their delightful and curiously entertaining melodic progressive rock. Easily recommended.

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The Bottom Line

All in all, and simply, Jolly's Family is another fine album of their delightful and curiously entertaining melodic progressive rock. Easily recommended.

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