Bent Jetty is an alternative indie-rock band making their name known from Orange County, California. Bent Jetty is comprised of members Wyatt Strassner on guitar and vocals, Greg Gamarra on vocals, Matt Wiste on guitar and vocals, and Christian Fleck on bass guitar.
Friends since high school, the quadruplets by choice didn’t begin playing music together until college and their debut album has been five years in the making.
Beginning with the immediately impactful “In Love Again”, Bent Jetty’s sound pours through with a nostalgic purity that seems all but missing from the modern indie-rock sound. There’s an anthem-like, near driving-ballad sort of aura to the song, particularly the vocal. It rises up from softness to intensity, and the soundscape effectively supports this, showcasing the progressing stages of the lyrics in a powerful and fitting way. While there’s an accessible and relatable quality to the sentiments, the next track titled “Dreamcatcher” has taken to exploring these in an again classically rooted manner, giving the whole song a poetic undertone that intertwines beautifully with the developing power of the music. This kind of style can be found in varied fashions throughout the project. Always the drums and the guitars cascade in a refreshing and genuinely creative yet raw manner, which appeals for its realness, and reminds you that a live show is undoubtedly where things would really come alive.
During “Warming Up”, the leading voice grips you more and more, moving from delicate and nearly spoken word during the introduction, to ultimately passionate and just gritty enough to really present this story-line with genuine heart and struggle.“Medicine You Like” adds an element of brightness in terms of the musical mood. The melody captivates as a few notes rise up and fall back down to layout the personal story-line. A hint of lightness follows later and helps build an interesting structure. “Old Pine Road” afterward leads with more entrancing riffs and quickly captures your affection for its fine balancing between the quick and the mellow. An easy favorite for the simple yet still huge hook section. The simplicity allows for creative freedoms with smooth guitar and punching vocals. “Oceans Away” is another highlight for the contrast between the secure rhythm of the riff and the beat with the steady pace of the vocal creates something easily memorable and quite classic feeling. Again, the lyrics seem to hit less intensely than the general vibe of the music, but with a second listen you start to form those connections! “We Don’t Care” comes into the mix with a soulful guitar line. As the percussion sections move in, we’re graced with 4 minutes of indie-pop brilliance to take us further into this incredible project. “Songbird” features harmonically rich and emotional vocals to paint a soundscape in your mind, Bent Jetty allows the listener to escape into an alternate reality and live in the music. “Songbird” changes the pace of the album, with light guitar strumming and a simple melody. The vocals are perfectly suiting the sentiments and light-hearted aura of this song. The musicianship on this project is consistently flawless, whether the moment is high energy or more of a subtle, intentional gathering of layers, the band knows precisely how to bring about the right pace while still managing to impress.
“Welcome to Springtime” has a simple yet addictive melody accompanied by intriguing lyrics and the minimalist strum of an acoustic guitar. Things begin on a strong foot and grow to be all the more immersive and musically wonderful as the song pours through. Easily worth a second listen before moving on – a stunning pop-rock track with a beautiful sense of depth; and a brilliant hook. “The Chase” is another highlight, showing a more rock theme embedded within the musicianship of the track. The hypnotizing vocals quietly calm and entrance the listener, while even more deeply considerate and honest lyrics drive a concept through. You get so much clarity from this project as if these are the songs that had to be sung, the thoughts that had to be shared. It’s a classic playlist and not a moment has been wasted or included purely to fill a space. “Figure It Out” undoubtedly stands out for its cinematic ambiance and the gritty nature of that driving bass. A blues-like scene is set, within which a simple yet captivating, poetic song works in a hypnotic fashion to envelop the listener and contrast hits hard as the hook falls into view. “Expectations” afterward completely redirects you yet again – an Americana-like song at first, pondering life and time in an overwhelming yet stunning manner. An absolutely beautiful track, incredibly expressive lyrics and a fantastic long-form melody-line and a musical build-up that intensifies superbly.
“Achin’” offers a further hit of nostalgic alternative rock right before the calming aura of “Blood Red Moon” brings the album to a finish. That vocal tone and the style of these songs offer a distinct thread throughout, mood-wise though there’s plenty of eclecticism at work, and for these reasons, the album makes for a wonderful playlist to escape within. A great way to go out, superb guitar work yet again and an overall enjoyable, entertaining piece of music and performance. Bent Jetty’s sound as it stands today is easy to spot. There’s plenty of individuality in the approach, and just enough familiarity to really appeal to the rock outcasts who crave that original, authentic aura. This album is a strong release start to finish. We can’t wait to hear more!
Check out the album here and read more with Bent Jetty below!
Welcome to BuzzMusic Bent Jetty! Can you briefly introduce yourselves to our readers? How did you go about choosing your stage name?
Thanks for welcoming us to the BuzzMusic family! We’re excited to have your listeners hear our album. We’re an eclectic Indie outfit originally from Orange County. As we were writing songs and conceptualizing what we wanted our listeners to identify with, we realized that our sound was inspired by where we lived -- Southern California. The name Bent Jetty is meant to evoke the spirit of coastal living, and all of the wonderful things that come along with that like sun-kissed beach days, late night drives on PCH, and the endless beautiful people that live in Southern California.
How was the production of your latest album? Did your initial vision for the album end up executing as you thought it would?!
The album was recorded at Sound Asylum studios in Santa Ana CA with engineer Mike Troolines. For our first full-length album we really wanted to have the highest production value possible, and we felt like we were able to achieve that with Mikes skill set and gear. Our initial concept was to have no two tracks sound the same, which was really an attempt to be an anti-genre band. While we do stick to classic instrumentation like drums, bass, and guitar, we didn’t want the record to be put in a categorical box as a rock record, or a pop record, or anything else. We’re really proud of the work that went into the record, and we hope that listeners will enjoy hearing it as much as we enjoyed making it!
"Medicine You Like" was that type of track that pulsates with energy! What kind of vibe were you going for when curating the track?
That track was a fun one to write and produce! For many of our songs, we build them around a fictional archetypal hero that is in a particular time & place in his/her arc. This song draws sonic and lyrical inspiration from post-civil war America, and is meant to tell the story of a relationship between two people that come from opposing ideologies and familial backgrounds. The song is their journey in reconciling those differences, and ultimately giving their love a chance to grow unhindered from the various influences at play. We really wanted to capture the Twain-era sentiment by using a train drumbeat, walking baseline, and even an appearance by a banjulele. This track is meant to be fun, upbeat, and a bit of a throwback to Americana songs from the late 19th century.
The whole album is extremely versatile and impressive! What would you say is the track that holds the most emotion? What’s the story or inspiration behind this song?
Thank you, we are so happy you are liking the range and quality of the tracks. That is a tough question! All of the tracks are so near and dear to us as we spent considerable amounts of time and resources to write, record, and produce them. One track that comes to mind as having the most emotional gravity is number 6 “Oceans Away.” It’s placed in the middle of the album as a bit of pillar to signal the end of the first half and beginning of the second half of the album. It was written with a 6/8 time signature that waltzes the listener through the story of two lovers that’s are worlds apart, or “Oceans Away.” We wanted to capture a nostalgic and longing feeling in the lyrics, and tried to channel how a soldier might feel, across the world and away from his lover. The Beatles-esque string section, tremolo picking, and descending melody offers the listener a calming sonic pallet as well as a chance to reflect on his/her own love story. Our favorite moments include the bookended piano intro and outro, the post-chorus string section, and the single harmonic note after the bridge that drops you back into the final chorus.
Thank you so much for chatting with us! Do you have any upcoming events or shows to tell us about!?
Thank you for having us on, and for reviewing the album. We don’t have anything planned for the rest of 2019, but who knows what 2020 holds! Hopefully we’ll be able to record some more music, and keep doing what we love!