Jakals confront trauma head-on with ‘Bat Brains’


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When Jakals dig into their new song “Trauma Hoarding,” they aren’t using the tune’s titular phrase lightly. The Boston band excavates a good deal of skeletons in their collective closet on their new record Bat Brains, a restless comp of six tracks that dropped today (August 13).

And everyone’s invited to grab a shovel and do some of their own emotional digging while tuning in.

Recorded over the course of six days in March with Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios, Bat Brains is the followup to the group’s debut album Keep Mother Sane from 2017. The release also heralds the start of their quick end-of-the-summer tour, which kicks off at O’Briens Pub in Allston on Friday (August 17) with Man Trouble, Humble Digs, and Tory Silver.

“These songs were written during and after a time when I was going through some particularly painful experiences, and they brought to the surface a lot of anxieties that had been existing more quietly inside me for a long time,” vocalist Katie Solomon tells Vanyaland. “These songs touch on a lot of those anxieties – about my worth and purpose in the world, about mortality, and about societal pressures.” 

The album title is even more loaded, referencing a young life lesson about death for Solomon that ended in a slew of rabies shots for her and her family.

“In this case, it’s referencing a time when I was a kid and a bat had somehow gotten into my house in the middle of the night,” she says. “My parents weren’t really thinking and my mom ended up frantically beating the bat with a broom. I guess the way they check if a bat had rabies is by checking its brain, but this bat’s brain had been knocked out of its head from the force of the broom, so it couldn’t be tested and we all had to get rabies shots in case we had been bitten while sleeping.”

While tumult links all the tracks together, it’s still “Trauma Hoarding” where Bat Brains reaches a grisly topical tipping point.

“When I wrote ‘Trauma Hoarding,’ I was thinking about how crazy of an event that was and how much it affected my sense of security,” Solomon notes. “I think we all experience trauma in various forms as we’re growing up, and if we don’t process it, it can affect us in so many ways. All of the songs on the EP are, in large part, about recognizing and processing the pain and anxieties of our lives. Like the bat’s brains splattered on the floor, unaddressed trauma won’t just disappear by ignoring it.”

It’s a messy comparison, but a true one nonetheless.

JAKALS + TORY SILVER + MAN TROUBLE + HUMBLE DIGS :: Friday, August 17 at O’Brien’s Pub, 3 Harvard Ave. in Allston, MA :: 8 p.m., 21-plus, $8 :: Advance tickets :: Facebook event page :: Featured image via the band.