The music of The Jamie Lynn Spears, the most recent of a slew of Isla Vista-based groups that have come into prominence, is an incomparable menagerie of afro-folk, neo-soul, prog-funk, and electro-reggae-rap. With more than thirty members total (not including studio recordings), the layered texture of their songs includes banjo, melodica, a brass band, synthesizers, theremin, a gospel choir, hurdy gurdy, viola, fiddle, bougarabou and djembe drums, and more. You may be familiar with their popular medley cover of Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead,” Adele’s “Someone like You,” and Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls on Parade,” and Joy Division’s “Disorder.” When performing at house shows, members of The Jamie Lynn Spears prefer to adorn themselves in matching glow-in-the-dark track suits reminiscent of Tron. The stylistic vocals of Sophia Clarick, the classically-trained Julliard School of Music graduate, can only be described as a rapid-fire stream of obscene rap, alternating with a kind of guttural growl.
“We wanted to be one-of-a-kind and pave the way for a new kind of multi-genre,” says Clarick, in between swigs of raw lemon juice and squid ink (“It soothes the throat,” she later explained). “So what we did was get together this group of people who were considered the best in their respective genre, and set them to my original lyrics and singing.”
These lyrics tend to be penetrating reflections on the nations’ current fiscal crisis, the denigration of the psyche of today’s youth, and the stifling implications of growing up in a capitalism-entrenched suburb. In their hit single, “D0wN A$$ B1tcH” Clarick vomits lyrics as affecting as “Pussy lickin’/ timer tickin’/ I think I might be Wiccan/ fuck you good / snort yo’ goods when I’m in yo’ hood.” Clarick also experiments with more concise, epigram-like lyrics, such as those to the song “CuM nAt1oN,” which read “cock biter, cock biter, cock biter, this ain’t my government” ad infinitum.
In regards to the diverse dynamic of the band, synth-player Tom Jennings stated, “Yea, I can’t stand those African dudes’ drumming. And don’t get me started on that reggae crap. I pretty much just wear earplugs until my solo.”
Having received critical acclaim by rave-frequenters, The Jamie Lynn Spears are currently in the process of planning a tour of countries beginning with the letter ‘J’ following their performance at Chillavista. The tour will begin in Jamaica and end with highly-anticipated dates in Jordan and Japan. .