Oxford and Wales sextet Jody and the Jerms have released their latest track on their own JAT-J label. The new single, ‘The Harder I try’ creates a seasoned pop rock sound as the narrative explores a perhaps failing relationship, where things aren’t as they used to be as a pair slowly drift apart.
Produced and mixed by Mark Gardener (of shoegaze band Ride), the track is likely the group’s most consummate work so far. Shimmering synth and a gentle, rocky guitar riff throughout add an almost 80s cinematic charm to this song.
Additionally, despite lyrics in plain listening “the harder I try, the further I fall”, these are almost dispelled by a feel-good sensation brought about by the perfectly executed backing harmonies which support lead singer Jody’s lamenting, thoughtful prose.
Formed in 2019 and fronted by the eponymous Jody, the vintage-flecked Jerms recruited the lead singer. Remarkably, she had never sung in front of anybody before and luckily for listeners, formed an instant chemistry with the rest of the group.
Band member Niall jokingly recounted: “Jody had never sung before, but I roped her into trying a song in the studio on the premise that I would do it if she didn’t. Fortunately, for everyone’s ears it worked out.”
Playing just one gig before the pandemic broke out, lockdown may have scuppered touring plans once, but it ultimately fuelled some impressive studio output. Now, after sold out shows in Cardiff and Liverpool in May, the band head on a UK tour:
Monday June 13: London Half Moon Putney
Tuesday June 14: Sheffield West Street Live
Wednesday June 15: Hull O’Rileys
Thursday June 16: Oxford Bullingdon
Friday, June 17: BeaconFest (Oxon)
Saturday, June 18: Chichester Festival