Something very special happened when a collective of imaginative musicians got together to complete a batch of demos. As the ramshackle posse morphed into a polished band intriguingly dubbed Lese Majesty, and finished music began to waft out into the surrounding music scene, people began to talk about this alt-rock quartet bursting with edgy hooks and provocative ideals.
An air of mystique surrounded the band as the promising EP was quietly released, but no shows were on the docket. Now, the Sydney, Australia-based four-piece band pulls back the curtains to reveal a calendar of performance dates and a new dark and dignified EP, Cold Reason For Change produced by Dead Letter Circus’s Luke Palmer.
Lese Majesty is a world-class alt-rock band with an incisive and incendiary perspective. “There is a theme running through what we do that is exemplified by the band’s name,” bassist Joel Henderson details. “And that’s self-sovereignty. Freedom of choice, freedom to put what you want into your body, and freedom to travel unrestricted.” Adds vocalist Jodie Lee Gibson: “When we sit down at dinner, or for a few beers, that is what we talk about, it gets real—we write about our beliefs and empowerment.”
Lese Majesty is Jodie Lee Gibson, vocals, Joel Henderson, bass, Jake Tuffin, lead guitar, and Ben Moore, rhythm guitar. The quartet has garnered favorable comparisons to rousing alt-rock artists such as The 1975, Paramore, Nothing But Thieves, and artful tunesmiths such as Letlive, The War On Drugs, and Dead Letter Circus. Lese Majesty balances pop-rock hooks against dramatic loud and soft dynamics, atmospheric passages, and emotive female vocals that encompass scrubbed raw urgency, sassy contempt, and pure soaring melodicism. Prior to the Cold Reason For Change EP, Lese Majesty released a self-produced EP in November 2015.
Members of the Lese Majesty previously lived together in a 10-person share-house where they wrote their foundational demos. They also creatively circled each other for a decade. Previously Lese Majesty members played in different musical configurations. The four musicians found themselves drawn to each other in this incarnation by a shared love of songcraft and heartfelt, and often controversial, beliefs.
The group’s moniker is derived from the French term “lèse-majesté” which translates to mean committing an offense against a ruling power. The name holds many shades of appeal for the band. It conjures femininity, grandeur, and it exudes a flippant cool in tune with the band’s impassioned streak of irreverence.
The four-song EP Crown Land is a profound leap in growth for the band in terms of songwriting, sweeping sonics, and nuanced band interplay. The title track is burly alt-rock with textured edges and skyward hooks. “Seeking Escape” vacillates between pent-up emotionality and climatic refrains. This feeling of tension and release in the music is perfectly in line with the lyric narrative which compassionately examines the addict’s need for release to escape his or her reality. “Seeking Escape” is neither a pro drug song nor a nihilistic anthem—it’s simply a fresh perspective on an epidemic. The EP closes with the stirring modern rock track “Monster,” a sage and sensitive look at parental sacrifices from a grown child’s vantage point.
Members of Lese Majesty have been fans of producer Luke Palmer’s band Dead Letter Circus for years. The two parties connected serendipitously online. Turns out Palmer was also of fan of the upstart band and volunteered his production services to Lese Majesty, enabling the group to achieve a more mature, multi-faceted, and emotionally rich aesthetic.
Up next, Lese Majesty will be sharing their high-energy and passionate rock show with audiences locally before jumping into international touring, In conclusion, vocalist Jodie Lee Gibson says: “It’s been so rewarding seeing this music and this band come to life. I never thought I would be a part of something so special, and we are bursting at the seams to share this music with everyone.”