Jennifer Gentle The Midnight Room

Jennifer Gentle The Midnight Room

Personnel changes have been afoot in Italian mod-psych group Jennifer Gentle since they first appeared on these shores in 2005, courtesy of Sub Pop’s release of the critically acclaimed but generally underappreciated Valende. Founding drummer Alessio Gastaldello left the band and now the group are moving forward firmly under the direction of remaining principal founder and songwriter Marco Fasolo. On his own, Fasolo has upped the group’s playfulness; bands like the Kinks, the Creation and, to a certain extent, the Monks come to mind. And yet at the same time, there’s a starkness to the whole album no matter how playful it gets that underpins The Midnight Room with an aura of depression, albeit depression with its smirk intact. This ends up working in the band’s favour, as one of the slights against the otherwise catchy Valende was that it never committed itself to one emotional direction or another, making it somewhat vacuous on repeated listens. (Sub Pop)