The Jezabels' 'The Brink' Streams Exclusively on Esquire
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Australia: land of the marsupial, Vegemite, Kylie Minogue, Crocodile Dundee, and the ute. An ute - short for "utility vehicle" - is the smaller, speedier Aussie version of a pick-up truck. When Hayley Mary of The Jezabels was writing "Look of Love," their latest single, she ditched the slang of her homeland in favor of the American affectation, using the pick-up truck to set a scene of secret sex. This had less to do with Yankee-fying the music of The Jezabels and everything to do with moving in a pop-driven direction that Hayley, for one, is embracing.
"That's not something I would ever do, but I wanted to say, 'Look, I would do anything for this feeling! I would do the tackiest thing, I would sleep with a guy in this pick-up truck,'" she says. "I made it an American pick-up truck rather than an Australian one because I wanted it to be the most popular cultural notion of love. I wanted it to be a snubbed notion of love that people seem to think isn't good enough. People are snobs about everything these days, about love, and I'm glad that they're starting to look upon music as beautiful art again, because there was a period when they just dismissed it."
Fans of The Jezabels have hardly dismissed them, both at home in Australia and elsewhere on the globe. For any given rock band, a successful work week could involve a handful of shows, long drives, a flight or two, and maybe a trek across an ocean if they're lucky enough to break internationally. For The Jezabels, a typical seven-day stretch might involve multiple continents, nightly sold-out concerts, and sessions with producers whose prior credits include Radiohead and Lana Del Ray. "I sort of stall when people ask where we we're based," Mary laughs. "We were actually in London while we were writing [The Brink] in 2013, but now we're finished, and as we're from Australia, I guess we're based in Australia again. The majority of us don't have houses anymore. We're just floating between tours."