“So, you say you’re a prisoner,” sings Hayley Mary in the opening title track of The Jezabels’ debut album; seconds later she adds, “Of whom are you a prisoner?” It’s indicative of the album’s wider lyrical themes with the vocalist exploring ideas of imprisonment throughout, whether from external sources or internal mental forces. It’s fittingly dramatic subject matter for an album that begins with the swelling Gothic sounds of a church organ, a harbinger of the melodramatic indie pop that follows. In many ways Prisoner is the perfect distillation of the disparate influences within the group. Mary’s love of Kate Bush and the performative grandeur of Freddie Mercury, keyboardist Heather Shannon’s classical background, drummer Nik Kaloper’s experience in metal bands and guitarist Sam Lockwood’s echo-laden approach to alternative guitar are all apparent. Songs such as “Endless Summer”, the surging “Rosebud” and the atmospheric “City Girl” marry pop melodies with U2-esque grandeur, syncopated rhythms and a mood that borders on the ominous.

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