Words by Ash Wallace
Year of the rat? More like year of the jaguar. Jaguar Jonze aka Deena Lynch is super hot property right now, recently a contender for Eurovision featured on Australia Decides which aired on SBS but having just fallen short to another big name in Australian voices, Montaigne. Despite not taking out the slot, Jonze possesses all the qualities for a deserving rising star. And although having a smaller discography to date, she has managed to carve out an original and enthralling voice and direction in Australian music right now, which is a difficult feat in the industry nowadays.
Last night’s sold out Kill Me With Your Love Tour at Black Bear Lodge, a favourite venue of mine, saw a flurry of friendly and familiar faces gathering to see Jaguar Jonze’ dynamic live show. With support from Fresco Kyoto and Syrup Sound. Right in the heart of the valley, nestled away and up the stairs, the venue was already buzzing when I arrived, well before the show had begun.
Starting off the night was alternative indie band Fresco Kyoto. Instantly I felt the polished and moody tracks translate into something much more. The five piece group, although slightly crammed onto the stage, offered a look into deeply rooted emotion with vocalist Robbie Balmer’s voice bearing stadium worthy ability. Fool Me Once, from 2019 EP ‘Crave For Colour’ was a standout from their setlist. The performance was both soothing and melancholic at the same time. With that essential sullen indie drum pattern and bass lines, I could sense that everyone else in the room was also picking up what Fresco Kyoto was putting down.
Experimental synth-y pop musical project of Harry Pratt and Henry Anderson, Syrup Sound were up on the stage next and coated the room with warm and fun vocals blanketing the synth heavy alt pop melodies. The set list included tracks Ride Safe and Something To Wear from the 2019 release of ‘The Sponge’. The set was dreamy and had everyone in the audience up on their feet and grooving to the lush tunes that were pouring out from the stage and into the crowd. Just as their name suggests, their music goes down pleasingly, just like syrup, and encompasses what it feels like to be alive. Trailing through a means of escapism and solidarity, there’s no escaping their captivating sound and live performance.
Bouncing onto the stage and greeting the audience, Jaguar Jonze was a ball of energy and didn’t waste any time before diving into the performance. The presence of contrast between sweet and powerful exuded anything else in the room. She is one of the more memorable live performers in this genre, incorporating multiculturalism, mental health and energy with renowned expression on the stage, not to forget the works of her band as well, providing backbone and structure. Her storytelling abilities through lyric and musical components are highlighted and displayed, especially through her recent single Rabbit Hole. The live performance of this track was a larger than life portrayal of a somewhat darker notion of Alice In Wonderland. Truly intriguing and mystical yet inviting. The darkness coming from the root of the song being a personal struggle with C-PTSD.
Everyone, including me, were singing along to all the other songs on the setlist which included Beijing Baby, You Got Left Behind, and a gritty cover of Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box which the audience seemed to love too. Throughout the set, Jonze was making sure she was connecting to people in the crowd and taking up space on the stage, serenading all of us with her allure. Because we couldn’t get enough of her, everyone chanted for an encore, so the night ended with 2019 single Kill Me With Your Love, a fiery and electrifying live track to cap off the night.
All three acts were stellar and fit together really well. Everyone I spoke to was just in awe of Jonze’ performance and her space pop cowgirl multiverse. Being able to catch Deena after the set and have a chat was definitely a huge plus. Being so down to earth and talented it’s a no brainer that she’s on the rise. I’ve fallen, willingly, into that rabbit hole that is her world of music and seriously condone each and every one of you to jump on board the Jaguar train.
Follow Jaguar Jonze
Watch Rabbit Hole HERE
With thanks to the Jaguar Jonze Team, Comes With Fries Digital Agency