Melodic punk rockers THE JACKLIGHTS are releasing their second EP on July 27, on Red on Red Records, which has been called by Boston’s alt-weekly “Potentially…one of the top records to come out of Boston in 2021”. Today we’re stoked to give you the the early listen below, one day before its release, along with track-by-track commentary from guitarist and vocalist Nilagia McCoy.
THE JACKLIGHTS got started right before the pandemic hit, and influences include Husker Du, Jawbreaker, Descendents, and Alkaline Trio, but with female vocals. They are reminiscent of the Bombpops, but have more of a 90s alt-rock vibe.
The band is rounded out by Mike Allen on bass and Steve Patton on drums, and was formed soon before the COVID pandemic hit. The Boston band managed to still release their debut self-titled EP in October 2020, and has now followed it up with five energetic tracks, many of which are perfect for summer. “Drift” was recorded and mixed by Boston music scene legend David Minehan (The Neighborhoods, and a touring member of The Replacements). On the EP, the band hones their sound, mixing 80s and 90s pop punk influences with an alt-rock sound and thoughtful lyrics.
“Drift” will be available on all streaming platforms (BandCamp, Spotify, etc.) on July 27.
This song was loosely inspired by a story my late grandmother told me, about her and my grandfather when they lived in California, before they moved back to the Midwest – just a little story about them going to the beach. It made me think about how their lives had looked totally different at one point, so the song is written from the point of view of an older couple looking back on their youth. It’s a bittersweet song about wanting to hold on to some parts of your youth, while accepting that time has moved on. It’s also about the realization that we only have so many summers – which always seem to go too fast.
2. Cold Feet
This one’s about relationships that look good on the outside, but are lacking behind closed doors, leaving people questioning their choices. I sometimes use pop culture as a source of inspiration – this song was loosely inspired by Mad Men, the part of the series where both Betty and Don Draper are cheating on each other. You have these beautiful people with a glamourous life, but underneath there’s strife and emptiness. When I originally wrote the song it was slower, but then Steve said, “What if we play this one a lot faster?” So we did, and it worked and gave it a fun sound.
3. Eat the Young
We don’t do a lot of political songs, but occasionally we do, and this is one of them. The lyrics pretty much say it all…those of us under a certain age have been left with a mess to clean up, whether we’re talking about economic inequality, climate change, racist policies, gun violence…the list goes on and on. Which can feel even more disheartening when you see people in power criticizing or attacking young people who are trying to make a positive change in the world.
4. Monster Love
This is actually a Halloween song, inspired by the Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein movies from the 1930s. It’s an unrequited love story, using some of the imagery from the movies. It’s about feeling out of step with the world and thinking you’ve found someone who is a good match, but it just doesn’t work out. We thought this one in particular has kind of a Descendents vibe going on in places – they’re a big influence.
5. Cheap Date
This is a song about how I met my partner, which partly included a ride up the California coast. It’s about being young, broke, and idealistic, and just enjoying each others’ company on random adventures. When I originally wrote this song, I think it sounded a little more…emo? Mike and Steve gave it a happier tone with the movement that’s going on in the rhythm section, which serves the song really well. It’s also a book end with the first track, “Beach.” I wanted to open and close with these sort of sonically lush songs about idyllic, carefree days.