Formed in the summer of 2015, Mean Jolene are yet another exciting band to emerge from the incredible Austin music scene. The band’s debut album, Salty, released back in 2016, was a collection of tracks ranging from, “love songs about drugs to bitter songs about boys”. Following a line-up overhaul, the band have been working on their upcoming second album, Try Harder, set for release in September this year, and today we’re premiering the latest taster of that record, Glory Daze.
While previously Mean Jolene’s output was characterised by, in their own words, “empowered femininity and devil-may-care attitudes”, for their second record the band have taken a more vulnerable approach, without losing any of their rambunctious qualities. Glory Daze does just that, as the lyrics chart discovering the person you need, even if you are surprised who that turned out to be, “I get in trouble when I feel I don’t belong who knew that you would be the cure all along”. Musically, the track plays out on fizzing guitar solos and euphoric driving rhythms, as Jolie Cota Flink’s vocals drift in and out of musical focus.
On this evidence, Try Harder already feels like a more personal and honest record than the band’s previous output. Jolie has suggested the album was heavily influenced by her battles with a bipolar diagnosis and the periods of creativity and depression induced lulls that follow. By channeling that battle into the music the band create, Mean Jolene seem to have found an output for those emotions, a way to share their truth that is every bit as inspiring as it is wonderful to listen to.