The collective now known as My Jerusalem met through critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Jeff Klein, who played with each of them in his travels as a solo artist. Jeff met guitarist Dave Rosser, a touring member of the Twilight Singers through producer, Mike Napolitano. Bassist Ashley Dzerigian was in Great Northern and toured with Ed Harcourt. Drummer Cully Symington was in bands like Cursive and Bishop Allen and tracked the Gutter Twins album. Rick Nelson, who plays violin, viola, cello and keyboards in the band, is a longtime member of the Polyphonic Spree and St. Vincent. Matt Bricker, also a member of the Polyphonic Spree, had been playing with The Low Lows.
The band’s debut album, Gone For Good, will be released today on 00:02:59 Records thru Sony/RED.
My Jerusalem pins Klein’s razor sharp wit against a lush backdrop of strings and horns, which is driven home by a beat that is sometimes even reminiscent of Bauhaus. There is a lot of genre mixing when it comes to the bands offerings. One song can be delivered through a pulsing wounded whisper, while the next can be a schizophrenic, headphone dance-party such as "Sleepwalking" to which the band likens to "Abba on ecstasy."
"A sense of community and camaraderie can go a long way," Jeff explains. "I don't think anybody in this project was the coolest kid in school. All of these people are highly revered musicians who have been involved with a bunch of other projects – everyone is somebody from somewhere. This time around, we've all gotten together with people on the same level, to have fun. And that's the key in all this: Just to have fun and play music that is fun for us to play, with songs that are meaningful."
Fueled by their DIY ethic, My Jerusalem recorded the album in two adjacent apartments in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA.. The experience proved to be both challenging and liberating. "Almost every piece of gear we used was broken or duct-taped together," muses Klein. That ram shackled environment and the creativity it birthed to overcome its limitations only added to the music’s charm. From the Bacharach meets Orbison album opener "Valley of Casualties," to the cathartically driving "Sweet Chariot," Gone For Good is a set of 12 songs that illustrate, as the group puts it "ones journey to find hope and satisfaction through even the hardest of times, and come out victorious."
For the live shows the band will continue to grow and change. "It definitely keeps me on my toes. Wait, who's playing drums tonight? And there are how many people onstage?" jokes Klein.
US dates for My Jerusalem are planned for later this year and a UK tour is planned for early 2011.