These are dreamy music makers. Beyond dreamy; Requiem for a Dream dreamy. A mess of insanely well-modulated vocals, viola, upright bass, harp, piano and drums, Jaggery produces delicate tunes that leave you somewhere you weren’t quite expecting to be.
Midway through their “The Road Awakening Tour,” Jaggery played The Red Palace in DC, and it finally felt appropriate that a band from another time (it seemed) was playing a stage that frequently supports burlesque dancers.
Not ones to understate their motives, Jaggery swathed themselves and their keyboard in black cloth. One wooden harp protruded from the front of the stage like the prow of a ship. There was much serene wailing and more than a few shivering viola solo parts, sculpting these thematic soundscapes, the theme mostly being otherworldly sadness (don’t take it from me, they’re releasing an EP “loosely based on Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.”). “7 Stone” with its driving piano, minor key melody and occasionally terrifying viola strokes sound like something out of a horror movie in 18th century England. Although the song specifically riffs on the theme of an eating disorder, if you could not understand English, you would still know would be longing and loneliness and violence. Jaggery’s onstage personality is much different than their presented one.
They laughed and joked together, often asking for more reverb. Said singer Mali Sastri: “Reverb is a science and a math, for some of us.” “Elfin Arrietty” was a highlight at their Red Palace show, harp plucked prettily and gentle vocals breezing over their revelers. The lyrics were inspired by Sastri’s mother’s dog, “my little marshmallow.” During the last few songs, Sastri not only rolled around on stage, she climbed down and sauntered on Red Palace’s floor, riling the crowd, and ended in a full split. ~ Marie Formica