JENNY HOYSTON: Isle Of [Southern]

In her day job as singer/guitarist for Erase Errata, Jenny Hoyston takes a back seat to her monstrous rhythm section, content to yelp and add scratchy guitar patterns to the no-wave groove being thrown down behind her. Yet hiding behind that detached exterior is an artist who actually does know her way around a melody, and on her debut album under her own name, Hoyston proves to be remarkably diverse. No wonder she leaves us dangling with the album title: Isle Of … what? Opening with a Mary Timony-style rocker (“Bring Back Art”) and a bluesy punk stomp that could be cribbed from the Gossip’s songbook (“Spell D-O-G”), Hoy-ston then moves through acoustic country territory and what sounds like an ’80s bedroom collaboration between Anna Domino and ESG. Though this album shares some traits with her lo-fi—and comparatively unremarkable—Paradise Island project, Isle Of is a full realization of the somewhat timid and tentative moves heard there. “Everyone’s alone,” sings Hoyston; here she proves that with or without her band, her creative well runs deeper than you might think. []

—Michael Barclay