Sweet Jane comprises of four musically tuned Paxton brothers - Danda is the wondrous songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist, Neil is the man with the plan on keys, guitar and backing vocals, Conor is keeping it cool on keys and guitar and Ruairi is holding the pace on bass, along with Donagh O'Brien on drums (the honorary brother of the Paxton clan).
The band is noted for their great sound and superb songwriting. In the past year songs from their highly acclaimed debut album ‘Sugar For My Soul’ have brought them attention from MTV, Skins, and Activision/Blizzard, at industry festival Midem, and they beat off more than two thousand international entries to win a competition run by NBC Universal to have their music included on the soundtracks of shows such as Being Human. NBC noted that their "vocals and wonderful driving hooks make Sweet Jane a perfect indie rock candidate across the board, and their submissions would fit within a majority of their shows”. At home, Sweet Jane’s songs have been synched frequently in TV shows such as Kitchen Hero and RAW.
If that’s not enough praise for the band you should also know that Sweet Jane are a cracking band to catch live, so cracking that leading music magazine Hot Press noted at a recent gig of the guys that “there are elements of shoegaze in Sweet Jane’s schtick, with waves of guitar carrying the music forward, but they have a harder rock core. Channeling the Velvet Underground, The Byrds and the Stone Roses, they mix melody and guitar attack with superb effect, with songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Danda Paxton masterminding the band’s big sound superbly. They go down a storm”.
Their second album, ‘By the Ocean, By the Sea’, with renowned producer Pat McCarthy at the helm, is scheduled for release on September 6th. The first single from the album, “Witches” will be released on May 18th.
The band is being kept busy with tour dates at home, beyond the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, while we’re on the topic. March saw them over in London for a couple of dates during Paddy’s weekend. Following that they flew into Toronto and then onto New York for some more stage presence. After Record Store Day this April they’ll be back to the UK to give the fans some more love before returning to Dublin for their gig in The Grand Social.
Danda Paxton - Guitar, Lead Vocals
Neil Paxton - Guitar, Backing Vox, & Keyboards
Donagh O'Brien - Drums.
Ruairi Paxton - Bass
Conor Paxton - guitar and keyboards
Blackboots & Blackhearts [EP] 
You're Making This Hard [Single] 
Black Eyes [Single] 
Sugar For My Soul [LP] 
Close Your Eyes (single) 2011
I've Been Waiting (single) 2011
Where's Your Money (single) 2011
Nights in White Satin (single) January 2012
I Wanna Be In Love (single) October 2012
Second album currently being recorded with producer Pat McCarthy. [Metallica, REM, Madonna, Lou Reed, Spiritualized, U2]
Jagermeister Freezer Sessions at Crane Lane Cork
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: “There are elements of shoegaze in Sweet Jane’s schtick, with waves of guitar carrying the music f...: “There are elements of shoegaze in Sweet Jane’s schtick, with waves of guitar carrying the music forward , but they have a harder rock core. Chanelling the Velvet Underground, The Byrds and the Stone Roses, they mix melody and guitar attack with superb effect. Shimmying and playing the tambourine out front, lead singer Lydia Des Dolles has grown into the role, demonstrating on the night that she has the presence to become one of Ireland’s iconic front-women. But it is songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Danda Paxton who pulls the strings, masterminding the band’s big sound superbly. They go down a storm”.
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If you look back at the first half of 2010, you’ll find it hard not to agree that we’ve been served ...If you look back at the first half of 2010, you’ll find it hard not to agree that we’ve been served with some excellent music. Whether you’re an album fiend, download junkie, or a casual browser, you should be pretty happy with the array of aural pleasures of January to June.
Some of the highlights for me include UNKLE’s album ‘Where Did The Night Fall’, ‘Nerve Up’ from Lonelady, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip’s ‘Logic Of Chance’, and God Is An Astronaut’s fifth album ‘Age Of The Fifth Sun’. It’s great to see so much high quality domestic music being made too, from both newer acts like Realisms and Talulah Does The Hula, and older names such as Oliver Cole and Cathy Davey.
For the past couple of weeks, Sweet Jane’s debut album ‘Sugar For My Soul’ has been the soundtrack to just about everything that I’ve been up to. It’s a mixture of youthful exuberance, with some classic influences brewed up in intoxicating measure.
The band is made up of Lydia Des Dolles (vocals & Percussion), Ruairi Paxton (Bass), Donagh O’Brien (Drums), and Danda Paxton (Guitar, Vocals & Keys). The latter Paxton had until recently been splitting his time between Sweet Jane and The Brothers Movement (another great band), but recently decided to concentrate his efforts on Sweet Jane. The move caused one publication to report that ‘Dana’ had left The Brothers Movement!
You can hear what Sweet Jane’s musical diets have been – a dash of Siouxsie & The Banshees, a helping of Jesus & Mary Chain, some Cocteau Twins, and as their name would suggest some Velvet Underground in there too. I’ve never been one of those people that has a problem with music that shows where its roots lye; as the saying goes, if it’s good, it’s good.
Much like The Kills and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Sweet Jane have taken a formula, shaken it up, and added some of their own ideas. The end result is something that is going to be the subject of much laudation, and deservedly so.
Over the past couple of years, Sweet Jane have busied themselves by touring with names like White Lies, Glasvegas, The Duke Spirit, and the aforementioned BRMC and The Kills. Things don’t look as though they’ll be relenting anytime soon, they are due to open the 2fm Hot Press Stage at Oxegen on July 9th, then it’s on to the Spraoi festival in Waterford (July 31st), Indie-Pendance festival, Cork (August 1st). Along with headline shows around Ireland, Sweet Jane have also been booked for dates at the Death Disco night in London in September and November.
People often ask, what constitutes good music? That’s kind of like asking how long is a piece of string? Music is and always will be a very subjective or even spiritual thing (keep that one to yourself otherwise you’re opening a world of ridicule on yourself!) What ever the answer is, Sweet Jane have won me over with ease.
by Dan Hegarty
'Sugar For My Soul' Irish Times Review
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Dublin band Sweet Jane (there’s an oh-so-obvious clue in the name, needless to say) sound as if ...
Dublin band Sweet Jane (there’s an oh-so-obvious clue in the name, needless to say) sound as if they’ve been reared on a diet of Velvet Underground, My Bloody Valentine, The Stooges and all the other usual suspects that are mentioned when a band’s music clearly references the slo-mo, WTF nature of drugged-up psych-rock. Such matters quickly disappear, though, when you realise that Sweet Jane have at their disposal more smarts than most; yes, they sound like they sound because we’re familiar with the influences, but the songs on Sugar for My Soul , their debut album, are just terrific.
The killer clinchers are the interplay between guitarist Danda Paxton and singer
Lydia Des Dolles , who nail the louche Johnny Thunders/Patti Paladin vibe with panache and pizzazz.
Sourmash Music Review
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Friends of Sourmash Music Reviews, 'Sweet Jane' are finally releasing their long awaited debut album...Friends of Sourmash Music Reviews, 'Sweet Jane' are finally releasing their long awaited debut album, 'Sugar For My Soul'. With their blend of 60s inspired Rock n Roll combined with sublime psychedelia and shoe gaze fuzz, I wait in anticipation while I listen to their first full length LP.
It's a kick straight into the proverbial gut with 'Bleed', with it's driving bass heavy riff rock magic that is like riding a wave of trashy atmospheric noise. Joyous and like a lady of the night standing in the doorway inviting you in. A great introduction and a solid example of keep it simple but make it memorable. A touch of alt. country in the shape of 'I've Been Waiting' up next with hints of 90s britpop thrown in as Danda and Lydia both take on vocal duties here. Interweaving quite beautifully and with near mystical atmospherics, thanks to the brilliant production that can be found throughout of 'Sugar For My Soul'. So we come onto the first single off the album, and one you would have heard before, certainly on here anyway, it's 'Black Eyes'. Aching heart sentiments with powerful lyrics, that with every listen seems to get you on a different emotional level every time. Swirling haunting guitars and crashing symbols all pulling at the heart strings and to striking effect.
Their EP 'Blackboots & Blackhearts', which was my first introduction to Sweet Jane, was full of heavy driving riffs without an acoustic guitar in site. So it is a pleasant surprise that tracks like 'Save A Little Place' are present. West Coast vibes just beaming through this wonderful and subtle love song. Trippy, frivolous and oozing in charm, all ending in a cheeky, but rather touching ending of 'All I Have To Is Dream' by The Everley Brothers. I could be mistaken but I am sure 'Where's Your Money?' is 'Hey Boy' from their last EP, revamped and dragged through a rock n roll dirt track. Lydia sounding more menacing than on her previous efforts to with comparisons to Alison Mosshart not too far away either. Lydia is effortless and sinks her teeth in where needed and not just for the sake of being the token 'Rock Chick'. 'You're Making This Hard' is a homage to the Velvet Underground, with it's obvious nod to 'Waiting For The Man'. It is however one of the more psych heavy songs on the album and lends itself well to that steady 60s influenced melodic chord progression. So as we edge closer to the end we crash into the progressive and sublime 'Fade To My Heartbreak'. With it's long instrumental introduction that keeps going and going until it's reached the depths of the very soul that they sing about throughout the aptly titled 'Sugar For My Soul'.
We talk about musical journeys and how whole albums can send you on a ride of discovery and sometimes mystery. 'Sugar For My Soul' has the intent of 'Classic' status as it hones in on all the right elements of a great record. It grabs you by the hand and flies away with your emotions at a steady speed, while letting you take in the scenery and escape with a much more open mind. Simply put it's brilliant and you would be a fool to let this one slip away.
Battery In Your Leg review 'Sugar For My Soul'
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Sweet Jane – Sugar For My Soul 9.75/10 Two years ago now a little known Irish band approached ...Sweet Jane – Sugar For My Soul
Two years ago now a little known Irish band approached me via e-mail about an introducing post – little did I know that they would become one of a small handful of bands that I am still passionate about!
I listened to some early mp3s by Sweet Jane and was very impressed. Then came the wonderful Blackboots and Blackhearts E.P. that still rips loudly through my speakers in 2010. That alone is some achievement, as anyone who receives in the region of 50 promos a week will confirm that you become pretty fickle! Maybe too fickle.
Fast-forward to the present day…Sweet Jane have grown into a fully fledged heavyweight! This debut release that arrives on July 2nd on Reekus Records is everything and more that I hoped for.
Sugar For My Soul is a full-on wall of sound, rock ‘n’ roll record, right from the opening bars of “Bleed”. Sure, you can draw comparisons to the likes of The Raveonettes and Mazzy Star in places, but that would do Sweet Jane a real disservice as tracks like “Close Your Eyes” show that they have their own unique slant on the world of shoegaze, nugaze or whatever the smart journos are calling it now.
What I’m driving at here is Sweet Jane don’t fit into clichéd genre boxes. Take “I’ve been Waiting” and its real bluesy feel wrapped around Lydia’s dulcet velvety vocals. It seems to me that Sweet Jane have benefited from playing live with the likes of Glasvegas, White Lies, A Place to Bury Strangers and The Kills to name but a few.
I expected something special from Sweet Jane but the magnitude of this record has astounded even me! The depth and layers of “Something For My Soul” are mixed beautifully. The track sequencing throughout gives it that ebb and flow that I love. I hate it when a record feels like it is just thrown together as a collection of songs.
The legendary BP Fallon has described the band as “The Raveonettes having sex with The Jesus & Mary Chain”, but I would sprinkle in a little Velvet Underground to that mix. The album closes how it starts -with a bang – in the form of “Fade To Heartbreak”, but with a twist at the end. You will have to buy the album to find out what though!
I could wax lyrical all night about this record but for those of you who like to rate things this one hits 9.75/10 on the Richter scale for me!
Von Pip Music Express Review 'Sugar For My Soul'
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Sweet Jane are DANDA – guitar/ vox LYDIA DES DOLLES- vox/ percussion RUAIRI PAXTON – bass DONA...Sweet Jane are
DANDA – guitar/ vox
LYDIA DES DOLLES- vox/ percussion
RUAIRI PAXTON – bass
DONAGH O’ BRIEN – drums
Sweet Jane believe in putting the swagger back into rock n roll, injecting new life into an indie music scene that seems swamped with trainee accountants enjoying a gap year and who know all about business plans but have little real feeling for, or indeed knowledge of, the music that they cynically seek to produce. Ownership of a pair of skinny jeans and a twatty little hat may be voguish but passion not fashion is what really counts and personally I’d much rather judge a band on the content of their heart than the content of their wardrobe.
Sweet Jane wear their hearts on their collective sleeves and clearly understand what makes great rock n’ roll, they take their influences and forge them on their own artistic anvil to produce something thrilling, visceral and very much the real deal. Hailing from Dublin they have only been together for a few years but in that short space of time have already supported some heavyweight acts, accompanying the likes of The Kills, Glasvegas, A Place To Bury Strangers and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and now with the release of their debut album it’s their turn to take centre stage. If you’ve ever been held in the sway of bands like The Velvet Underground , The Jesus and Mary Chain , My Bloody Valentine, Ride or 60’s West Coast rock then we submit that you may well be smitten with their debut album ‘Sugar For My Soul’. The album begins with the Mary Chain strut of ‘Bleed’ and ends with the Hendrixesque psychedelic space jam of ‘Fade To My Heartbreak’ whilst in-between you will be hard pressed to detect a filler on the entire album, in fact it would not be an overstatement to say that ‘Sugar For My Soul’ is littered with songs that in any right thinking, artistically sophisticated society, would be regarded as classics. (Listen to ‘ Don’t Hold Your Head So Low’, ‘Texas Tears’ or ‘Black Eyes’ and tell me I’m wrong ;) )
So whilst people of no discernable musical taste are soiling their trousers with excitement at the prospect of a Gary Barlow/Robbie Williams reunion (which let’s face it is about as exciting as Ken Barlow discussing how to procure the perfect cardigan) we spoke to Sweet Jane’s Lydia .
VP: How did Sweet Jane get off the ground, I’ve read that the band originally started as a side project?
LYDIA: That’s true, Our bass player Ruairi introduced me to Danda at a party, and he asked if I’d like to sing on some songs he wrote, I guess when we saw other people get excited about the songs we thought it would be good to do a couple shows, we pretty much steam-rolled since then.
VP: Your rather excellent debut album ‘”Sugar For My Soul’ has just been released, after being delayed a few months. Was it frustrating having release dates put back, or do you think it worked in your favour ?
LYDIA: It wasn’t really something that we worried about, or thought about. We planned to go into the studio to do the record by ourselves, during that period, we signed to Reekus, so we knew that they had to prepare their schedule, and we had to make sure that the record was the best it could be, when you sign contracts you get a certain confidence that your band is hopefully in it for the long haul, so we were fine waiting an extra couple months.
VP: Do you have a favorite album track?
LYDIA: ‘Don’t Hold Your Head So Low’ is special, the lyrics mean a lot to me, it’s sort of a self-help song, it was really emotional to record, we’ve never played it live yet either, I don’t think I would make it through the whole song. All of our songs are special to me, when I hear them, I go back to where they were wrote or what happened when we played it together for the first time, I guess the record is a story book for the last two years.
VP: Which bands would you say have been the biggest influence on your songwriting and musical style?
LYDIA: It comes in two parts for me, what I’m influenced by isn’t really how I write. I don’t think in terms of songs I get influenced by other artists, Danda writes the majority of our music so it’s hard to talk about music influences without him here, he’s a really big country music fan though. Melody wise, the original pop stars like Ike & Tina and that whole Phil Spector sound is inspiring. In general I’m a big Brit-Pop fan, the Creation Records back-catalogue, Oasis being the Holy Grail y’know. I think though people and attitudes inspire me most.
VP: What have been the most memorable moments thus far as being a member of Sweet Jane?
LYDIA: We’ve had a lot of great nights with this band, we’re easily pleased, a good rider and good company, getting to travel to places and have people know your band is pretty great. We’ve met some pretty cool people along the way, 3am in an attic singing ‘Wonderwall’ with Bonehead [The Vortex / Oasis] was a special one for me, sitting in a field in Sheffield with Mark Gardener from Ride, all bizarre amazing nights. Actually we just played the Oxygen Festival in Ireland this weekend and we were backstage with The Coral, I’ve never realised how beautiful their lead singer was before, and that voice, I had a total fan-girl moment, but I can’t have many of those on tour, it’s pretty much a boys world y’know, crushes don’t go down to well [laughs]
VP: What’s your opinion of the current music scene? Any bands stand out ?
LYDIA: I’m not good at finding new bands to listen to, Ruairi, our bass player, is pretty much a music salmon of knowledge, so he knows what I like and sends me what he thinks I’ll like, I listen to a lot of the Rolling Stones, Ride, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Byrds, and a lot of Black Sabbath. Actually I just got The Coral’s new record ‘Butterfly House’, its so beautiful, really great, y’know what, that band have never made a bad record, they really should be the biggest band in the UK, they deserve that!
VP: Do you think the ease with which people can download music has in some way devalued it? Or has it democratized the whole process making it much easier to get your music ‘out there’.
LYDIA: What you have to remember is our band has only been around for a couple of years, so by the time we had started, music sales were already dropping, the dip has never affected us directly, I guess its the ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt you’ mentality. My stance on download music is simple, if that’s how kids are accessing music today, then who am I to say it’s wrong, the reason we work hard promoting our band and record is to get as many people to hear our music as possible, if it that means someone sending mp3s to friends then so be it.
VP: And in a similar vein, there’s been a lot of talk about file sharing damaging music sales, which is a contentious point, how do you see the future of music evolving?
LYDIA: I don’t know, I really don’t, I don’t file share and I don’t have an I-Tunes account, I buy records. So I don’t really know how to give this a good answer, I know that I can’t live off of our record sales digital or CD, and I never could, so I don’t really like to think about whether I could or not, there’s nothing that I can do about it. It doesn’t bother me; all I care about is making music, and seeing people at our shows.
VP: Is there a pressure on bands to interact with fans, due to social networking sites? Is it something you approve of and embrace?
LYDIA: I’m not sure, I don’t think our band has fans, I think we have people who like our music, I get uneasy with the term ‘fan’, I don’t want fans I want friends of our band, y’know? At the start, we managed all our own websites, but it wasn’t really an effort, it was just keeping everyone in the loop of what we were doing, now we have a label that looks after all the online stuff, all the press and PR. Now that I know someone else will do the updating, the more I want to step away from the internet, the less time spent online the better y’know? I am a twitter fan though.
VP: Five words to describe the album?
LYDIA: Honest – Emotional – Vulnerable – Romantic – Nostalgic
CLUAS review 'Sugar For My Soul'
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Band: Sweet Jane County of Origin: Dublin Genre: Dreampop Rock 'n Roll Album: Sugar For My Soul ...Band: Sweet Jane
County of Origin: Dublin
Genre: Dreampop Rock 'n Roll
Album: Sugar For My Soul
The Freshly Squeezed rating? 8 drops out of 10
"Sugar for my Soul" is a crisp, melodic album from a promising group. Sweet Jane, presumably named after the Velvet Underground song, have been getting rave reviews across the board - and this is no exception. With echoes of REM's vocals and The Edge's guitar, their airy, bright sound is infused with country and rock 'n' roll. In fact, their self-descriptor, "dreampop rock 'n' roll", despite sounding contrived, is surprisingly accurate. The almost-title track, "Something For My Soul", is extremely catchy.
Sweet Jane have been around for around two years, releasing an EP in 2008, touring throughout 2009. They have just released this, their first LP, a surprisingly mature piece of work for such a recent band.
Look out especially for "Save a Little Place", which seems to be a subtle tribute to "All I Have to Do Is Dream" by the Everly Brothers. With quirks like this, and a hidden track (better not give the game away by saying where it is), it's obvious that this album is deeply thought-out, as well as being plain good.
Across The Line review Sweet Jane at Oxegen Festival 2010
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2FM Hot Press Academy, Friday 9th July, 3.30pm Describe in a tweet: A one dimensional ride into t...2FM Hot Press Academy, Friday 9th July, 3.30pm
Describe in a tweet: A one dimensional ride into the heart of darkness.
What happened: Clearly in thrall to the dark gods of rock and roll, Sweet Jane seek to channel that twisted muse into a rock and roll ride through musical history. Unfortunately they get stuck in a groove pretty quickly, coming off more Black Rebel Motorcycle Club than Velvet Underground. Guitars drone, drums pound, and bass throbs, whilst glacial boy/girl vocals soar overhead.
Happily wearing rock and roll cliches on their sleeves, it might not be the most original thing ever made, but they're very good at it. A dash of invention wouldn't go amiss, but there's definitely a lot to work with...
Crazy in Love: Recent single 'Black Eyes' towers above the rest of the set, dragging the ghost of Slowdive kicking and screaming into the present.
99 Problems: A couple "frolicking" in the middle of the tent manage to distract a lot of the audience from what's happening on stage.
Oxegen rating: 6/10
AU Magazine Review 'Sugar For My Soul'
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Sweet Jane – Sugar For My Soul Reekus Anyone who has seen Sweet Jane live can testify to their...
Sweet Jane – Sugar For My Soul
Anyone who has seen Sweet Jane live can testify to their onstage prowess. On record, they are indeed a different animal.
Sugar For My Soul follows on from the EP Blackboots & Blackhearts and sees the band weave old school rock with dream-pop lullabies. After guitar-packed opener ‘Bleed’ it becomes a much more understated (but never underwhelming) affair. From the Beach Boys-esque intonations of ‘Save A Little Place’ to ‘Where’s Your Money?’ a pure Stones-inspired rock track, the album is a melting pot of influences.
It is, however, Mazzy Star that the band share most with – throw in the sexy vocal interplays between Lydia Des Dolles and guitarist Danda and you have a glorious debut.
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KEY TRACKS: ‘BLEED’, ‘BLACK EYES’, ‘WAR CRY’.
FOR FANS OF: MAZZY STAR, BEACH HOUSE, SHOEGAZE.
Set Time : 60minutes
14 Song Setlist:
By Your Side
Youre Making this hard
Close your eyes
Wheres your money?
I've Been Waiting
Something For My Soul
Take Me Home