Though mainstream pop may receive a great deal of criticism for being very cookie-cutter, The Juliets, a classical pop band based out of Detroit, could never be accused of fitting such a mold. Though not yet mainstream, this refreshingly original band has a unique talent and sound that leaves all who hear it wanting more.
Complexly and beautifully layered, The Juliets’ distinctive sound is an intriguing blend of indie pop and classical sound. Singer/songwriter Jeremy Freer has mastered the art of utilizing orchestral instruments in such a way that is very exclusive to The Juliets. This is where Kaylan Mitchell and Sarah Myers are an essential element to the band’s sound. With Mitchell as The Juliets’ cellist and Myers on violin, both bring depth to each song.
That fact alone is something that is very specific to The Juliets: the string instruments are not simply featured as a background instrument, or solely heard on a song or two on each album. Mitchell and Myers, who are both classically trained, are in the foreground of all of the band’s music. It is an element that few bands have incorporated into their sound.
Joining Freer, Mitchell and Myers are Ashton Hopkins on bass and Jaclyn Phillips on the drums. Hopkins’ basslines give many of the songs a nearly chilling depth, yet his mastery of his instrument is such that it does not drag down some of the more light-hearted songs, but supports them with precision. Phillips’ driving, intense drum playing has a similar effect; it moves the sound forward with a thunderous drive, not feeling rushed or over bearing, but refreshingly powerful.
The quintet has been honing their skill as an ensemble since 2008, when they came together by what Freer calls “nice little twists of fate”, but did not release their debut album until February of 2010. It was well worth the wait. The Juliets’ self titled debut was acclaimed by both fans and critics alike, as was their sophomore album, Perfect Season, released in November of this year.
Fans will be able to enjoy music from both of The Juliets’ albums at an upcoming local music festival. Mittenfest is an annual holiday music festival which takes place in Washtenaw county and benefits 826michigan, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for local youth.
The Juliets can also be seen at their additional upcoming performances at Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids on January 21st and at The Ark in Ann Arbor on January 23rd. Whether seeing The Juliets live or downloading one of their albums, the band will undoubtedly draw you in with their unique sound and mesmerize you with their beautifully crafted music.
Check out the band’s webpage to download The Juliets and Perfect Season and keep an eye out for their next video debuting in February! And be sure to like The Juliets on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and friend them on MySpace to keep up with the latest Juliets news. ~Hayley Serr, Feature Writer
Watch the official video for Loon off of The Juliets’ sophomore album, Perfect Season.