Last November I wrote about VCS alumna Natasha Jacobs’s band Thelma and their single “If You Let It,” which was featured in NPR’s Songs We Love series. Earlier this month, the group released its eponymous first album in vinyl, CD, and digital formats with the indie label Tiny Engines; its seven tracks include that song and their follow-up singles “Peach” and “White Couches.”
Here’s an excerpt from the Tiny Engines page for Thelma:
Thelma’s origin seems to suggest that Natasha Jacobs’ musical abilities sprouted from the singer-songwriter almost spontaneously, whilst she convalesced after a life-changing fall from a ladder. Although there is surely more of a back-story than that, this was when she started writing songs and playing guitar. The project itself began two years later as a solo endeavor but soon became a band when Daniel Siles, Maciej Lewandowski, and Juan Pablo Siles joined.
On Thelma’s Self-Titled debut, Natasha doubles down on at least one aspect of the tale; she asserts her right to be fallen. In doing so, “Thelma” reveals both a self that has been projected onto her as well as the fantasy of her own projected self. She juxtaposes her falsetto with her very lowest registers, and couples her most saccharine aspects with squeals.
Many of the songs deal with a problem often caused by projection; lovers fashion each other. But lovers’ projections can be very beautiful, and so they are determined to enforce them. For the protagonist of “Thelma”, this often means being made out to be pure, angelic, a sprite. And it’s easy to understand why this would be a preoccupation of concern for the songwriter, whose falsetto is the most effortless of things; so natural, easy, that brilliant intricacies convey playfulness, and feels impetuous, impervious, pure.
You can read the rest and order the album at the link above (note: it’s still listed as a pre-order there, but the Tiny Engines homepage is showing it as released.) All of the tracks are also on Soundcloud