Will Popadic, singer of the Brooklyn-based three-piece called the Jaguar Club, has a voice reminiscent of Morrissey’s, with a bit of a Brett Anderson swoon thrown in. From the sound of the band’s self-released And We Wake Up Slowly, the whole band might just think Suede’s (Anderson’s old band) record Dog Man Star is one of the loveliest records of that Britpop era. More than a handful of the Jaguar Club’s songs are made from that album’s blueprint, and it’s a nice touch point and one that hasn’t been hit all that much. Other bands that gave the Jaguar Club’s sound a hand are Echo and the Bunnymen, the Smiths, Placebo (of all things!), and Bauhaus. The album is an amalgam of all these sounds, but the bits are combined gives the Jaguar Club its distinct take on ’80s guitars revisited.
The band has newer influences, as well, such as British Sea Power and Interpol, both of which are also good at incorporating ’80s guitar sounds into something striking and new. On And We Wake Up Slowly, stand-outs include “Antarctica,” which resonates with all the cold and vastness that the title implies, and the gorgeous plucking on “In the Leaves” is stunning. Who needs vocals? “Perfect Timing” is a perfect summation of the album. It’s heavy and brooding, and the piano-driven chorus comes out of nowhere. The space and majesty of the Catskills and the wilderness suggested by the mountains comes out in this song particularly well. The members recorded the album in a creaky big barn in Upstate New York, and the surroundings have clearly left their mark.