What better group to kick off the music side of the Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival than this sensory-stimulating trio? Jamaican Queens—vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Ryan Spencer, guitarist/bassist Adam Pressley and drummer Ryan Clancy—deal in nuanced and trippy electro pop that is as catchy as it is experimental, merging disparate styles into an infectious concoction. Frequently bittersweet and always captivating, they master that elusive dichotomy of being fun without being mentally flaccid and cerebral without being pedantic. Don’t let their songs’ subject matter of streetside muggings, crumbling codependent relationships, and inevitable mortality scare you off, for no band delivers such material in such enjoyable fashion. Suggestive and playfully coy, their sonic kaleidoscope is a perfect storm of vivid textures, as evidenced on their critically lauded 2013 debut LP, Wormfood. Layered in glimmering and fluid production, the songs take on a new life when performed live, attaining a level of nearly transcendent exuberance.
Jamaican Queens will be playing at (or near 10:30pm) after the opening night film at Old City Hall, 814 Saginaw Street in downtown Bay City.