What does one get when they mix windy vocals, guitar riffs, electronic bass and drums and the burgeoning Calgary music scene? They get Jane Vain and the Dark Matter.
The band's first release, Love Is Where The Smoke Is, channels the laments and emotional workings of frontwoman Jamie Fooks through its 11 tracks of sultry yet beat-tastic, layered goodness.
Throughout the album, there is a noticeable push and play between sometimes busy piano and guitar and simple midi ticks and claps. "C'mon Baby Say Bang Bang" is a catchy track, kicking off with distorted, almost nostalgic guitar that leads into octave-clanking guitar and Fooks' smokey voice. The song explodes into a head-bopping, bass-heavy affair, keeping with its original octave basis. "Do-dos" rock the groove, pushing it further and adding even more hooks.
An unexpected turn is found in the last track, "We Must Destroy." Fooks and friends abandon the layered versus minimalist sound, instead opting for a highly harmonized, piano power-chord-driven piece. Though admittedly uncharacteristic considering the feel throughout the rest of the album, it seems to work somehow, leaving the listener contemplating the songs in their entirety long after the CD is done playing.
If Where The Smoke Is can be taken as any indication of Jane Vain and the Dark Matter's musical future, they are probably headed for a successful one.