Jelani Aryeh
Tue, Dec 3
Doors: 7:30 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
Tickets: $22.00
Ages 18 and Up
Jelani Aryeh
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Jelani Aryeh
When Jelani Aryeh set out to write his second LP The Sweater Club due out this June, he was chasing something specific. In sessions, Aryeh called it “anthems.” “It’s difficult to get across in words,” Aryeh explains. “A lot of the music I was listening to around that time had this magnitude and pulsing kind of energy that felt so inspiring to me.”
Aryeh’s quest to capture a moment, an energy, authentically is stamped all over his debut album, I’ve Got Some Living to Do, too. Written and recorded during the pandemic, a period of enforced stillness, it offered an intimate self-portrait into the 24-year-old San Diego native’s distinct motifs of loss of innocence, desire for love, and the search for something spiritual.  Released in 2021, the album has been streamed hundreds of millions of times, producing breakout hits, “Stella Brown”, “From These Heights” and “Marigold” and cementing Aryeh as one of the most watched rising artists in music. Dubbed, “buoyant” and “full of hope” by Complex, “A coming of age for all ages” by Atwood and “swaggeringly earnest” by Flood magazine. Showcasing Aryeh’s creative elasticity, I’ve Got Some Living To Do offered a captivating and complex look at “normal” life after a year of fear and isolation.

Musical stardom can be a relentless rollercoaster though and Gen Z’s musical chameleon is fighting hard to redefine categorical genres. Growing up in San Diego, within an Afro-Filipino family, Aryeh absorbed all kinds of music. Among his earliest memories, he would watch his uncle rap in a makeshift studio at their home. By high school, he discovered Depeche Mode and New Order through his mom and aunt. In between embracing new wave and goth, he spun records by the likes of Keane, Brian Eno, The 1975, Sonic Youth, Wilco, and The Beatles. Diving into building his own world, Jelani officially introduced himself with the Helvetica EP in 2019. Zane Lowe personally premiered the single “Patagonia,” eventually reeling in nearly 10 million streams.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, the return to live performances was a transformative experience for Aryeh, he canvased the country with Hippo Campus, Remi Wolf, and Maggie Rogers and delivered showstopping sets at festivals such as Outside Lands, All Things Go, and Smokin Grooves. The experience had a direct effect on 2024’s The Sweater Club’s creative process, Jelani explains, “A lot of these songs were made with the idea of a live show in mind, so I’d say they’re a lot more dynamic.” Writing The Sweater Club was a process of discovery, one that not only allowed Aryeh space to assert himself as an artist but also couched in that was a desire to surpass himself creatively, too. “In terms of sound, it’s much fuller, more anthemic, even anxious at times. I think it’s more sincere and less naive.”

Aryeh returned to San Diego to record The Sweater Club marking a significant chapter in his artistic journey. Influenced by a diverse array of artists such as Wilco, Blood Orange, Joy Division, MGMT, and The Shins, Aryeh sought to create a record that encapsulated his growing musical maturity. With ‘anthems’ echoing in his mind, Aryeh crafted thirteen new songs for the LP, each imbued with a unique sense of sonic depth and introspection. The LP opener, "Sweater Club," sets the tone for the entire project with its immediate and unapologetic approach. Aryeh's explains, “A lot of my favorite albums have these drawn intros, but I think my album is less conceptual in that regard. I wanted to get straight to the point and set the tone of the project from the start. it doesn’t feel too heavy or too light on its feet.” Released in March of 2024 the single “Sweater Club” has received critical acclaim, “featuring chill guitars and hazy vocals, it's a song about feeling apathetic and detached from life while yearning to fully step back into yourself.” proclaimed, Stereogum.

Through The Sweater Club, Aryeh invites listeners to join him on a journey of self-discovery and expression, showcasing his evolution as an artist and his commitment to creating music that is both authentic and compelling. Given the rich sonic textures and the ambient mood of the record, exploring new ways to draw out emotion was integral to its recording. With its blend of catchy melodies, poignant lyrics, and dynamic instrumentation, The Sweater Club stands as a testament to Aryeh's artistic vision and creative prowess.

Aryeh is eager to perform the new songs in a live setting and is embarking on his first solo headlining tour in Fall 2024, something he says he’s nervous but excited about. But as The Sweater Club demonstrates, the 23-year-old is entering a new period of his musical life, one in which stepping out of your comfort zone leads to new creative and personal revelations, "In writing and recording The Sweater Club, I've learned not to take life so seriously and not to take things personally. I self-isolated for a while, thinking I could do everything alone. But I now recognize that I thrive around the right people, and I hope fans enjoy listening to the EP as much as I enjoyed making it.”

The Sweater Club will be available everywhere on June 14, 2024.