Hartford, Connecticut's Jelani Sei are slowly, but surely, impacting the indie rock/emo/punk scene in a big way. Right now, the quintet is touring with fellow Hartford indie outfit, Sorority Noise, and Epitaph emo trio, Remo Drive. But the group has been gaining traction way before their latest tour, attracting fans by way of twinkles, soul, passion. Jelani Sei's sound is hard to place in a box, and that's exactly why they're so enthralling.
Per example, the group's newest track, "Rep. Maxine Waters." Instrumentally, the song is all over the place. Emo guitar twinkles, sporadic rhythms, grooving bass, a trumpet that seems to pop up and fade away unexpectedly – Jelani Sei's choice of structure is nothing short of clever. Vocalist Kayana Guity and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Evan Lawrence trade off vocal duties naturally, while instrumentals change thoughtfully. Groovy, clear, atmospheric. Without a doubt, Jelani Sei is spreading a fresh sound.
"Rep. Maxine Waters" was released in recognition of Women's History Month. Jelani Sei commented on the song:
This song is about the turbulent thoughts of kids of color. Pushing through what we've observed, known, and communicated has our collective namesakes all over it, but has been repackaged as Starbucks. It’s musical un-gentrification of what it means to be an indie rock band, a soulful band, and Black Panthers.
Check out the new song above, peep the rest of Jelani Sei's tour-dates with Sorority Noise and Remo Drive down below.