The True Jacqueline
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The True Jacqueline

Northampton, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Northampton, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Bishop Allen + The War on Drugs + The True Jacqueline"

...The show was already in progress when I arrived, a local band called the True Jacqueline playing crunchy guitar riffs and singing tight girl/boy harmonies, a la Apples in Stereo. The bass player, whose name is Callie W. [sic], looked like the coolest camp counselor ever, in a mini-skirt and bright blue sneakers. She traded lots of “whoas” and “oohs” with the keyboard player on bouncy pop tunes. The guitarist sat on a folding chair—very casual about the whole thing, I thought, until I saw him hobbling off stage on crutches later—but the drummer stood, whacking an abbreviated set of snare, tom, and cymbal without the benefit of a chair. At the break, I bought a seven-song homemade CD for $1, and it turned out to be lo-fi and loosely constructed but really kind of fun, especially “The Wizard” and “Instead”... - Pop Matters

"Under the Radar... for Now"

During this Grand Band Slam season—a time for celebrating the depth and diversity of the local music scene—we thought it would be a nice idea to shine a light on a new band that slipped through the sieve this go-round. To that end, the Advocate talked to Northampton-based indie rock newbies The True Jacqueline.

The five-piece band—who cite influences ranging from Star Trek to World War II—formed in 2007, with members falling in organically from disparate backgrounds, but with a shared love of quirky pop and tight boy-girl harmonies. Their exuberance and freshness have endeared them to those who have checked out their live shows, or who might have stumbled upon their novel approach to dispensing Major-minor-okay!, their debut EP: submit your email address to The True Jacqueline website, and you can download the seven tracks for free.

Advocate: What is the origin of your band name?

The True Jacqueline: We stole it from a group of Japanese tourists. We decided on The True Jacqueline after a tournament-style voting process. We came up with about 40 different names and whittled it down to a few. I guess we're lucky that Noah [Stevralia] has a thing for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, otherwise you might be interviewing Expensive Whales.

How do everyone's multi-instrumentalist interests and capabilities inform your songs and sound?

Each member's musical background is unique, and we're all informed by very different experiences and histories. Noah studied rock and roll at Hampshire College and has been in a number of indie bands (most notably The Billy Ripken Fuck Face Card). Zach [Farrell] has a classical background from Lehigh University in piano and voice. Callie [Millington] has experience in jazz and classic rock, while Kate [Niemczyk] comes from a more indie/singer-songwriter vein. Callie attended and Kate recorded at the Institute for Musical Arts Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls, formed by June Millington (no relation of Callie's). Daniel [Day-Woodruff] played in drum and bass/house music before this, and is also a DJ. We are all capable songwriters, and our writing is very collaborative. We effectively have no "front man." One member's ideas are no more important than anyone else's.

Because of our varied background, we create songs that aren't tied down to one specific style or beat. The dub-like bridge of "Mondegreen" evolves into a jazz-influenced bass solo, for example. Also, because we are all constantly revising and rewriting our own parts, the songs change and develop every time we play them.

The focus of our songwriting is on melody and rhythm. We like to build interesting harmonies and counter-melodies into our songs, and we try to seamlessly incorporate different rhythms and time signatures. We also think the world is ready for a sound that attempts to showcase the timbre or "sound-color" of the instruments involved. We actively emphasize the tonal qualities of our voices and instruments. This is why we've eliminated cymbals from our drum kit. They create so much noise and occupy so much of the sonic spectrum that the subtle qualities of the other instruments are easily lost.

Do you have a name for your sound?

Of course: The True Jacqueline. We have an in-joke that we've created our own style of rock called "sheetrock." If we had to align ourselves with an already existing style though, we might best be considered somewhere between indie pop and indie rock.

What was the band's first show like?

Our first show was at Bar Matchless in Brooklyn, N.Y. It was actually a really fun time for us, since it was a show and a road trip all bundled into one bonding experience. We played with some of Noah's old college friends, JP05 (who we're playing with at the Sierra Grille on Oct. 2), and had a really tight set. We knew that we were going to have something good going with the band after that show.

Our first local show was a few days later at The Yellow Sofa in Northampton. It was an intense beginning to our career. We had no opening band and were booked for two hours. We came up with two 45-minute sets in the four months before that show and within a week we had played a 30-minute set in Brooklyn and a two-hour showcase in Northampton. There are not a lot of indie rock bands that can say that. We still love both Bar Matchless and The Yellow Sofa. That place is so unassuming for a venue, but can really rock out!

What's it like being the new kids on the music scene?

It's been really exciting for us. We've gotten a lot of support from some of the people who help make the scene around here, like Mark Sheehan and Eric Suher, who seem to enjoy our music a lot. It's nice that people are into our music, and that we just get to play and have a good time. It's such a rewarding and addictive experience having people you don't know come up to you and start talking about your music. Because we have so many influences, there are a lot of little homages in our songs, and it's just great to feel like we can play for people who really get that and appreciate our taste.

What about your website deal—a free EP download for providing your email address?

Foremost, we want to expose people to our music. We're in this band for the fun of playing music—it's not really about making money off the EP. We recorded it at a friend's studio out in Brookline, but we produced and mixed the thing ourselves. Since the overhead on it was low, we don't need to charge people for the download. We only sell it at our shows for $1 to recoup the cost of the CDs and packaging.

We figure that an email address is sufficient payment for our music. That way, if they like the EP, they can be informed about our upcoming shows and check us out live. Ultimately, fans and exposure are the most valuable currencies to any indie band. That is what we make in exchange for our integrity. Everything is secondary to that.

What do you think the state of indie rock is these days?

There are a lot of really interesting things going on in indie rock right now. You have a lot of cross-genre sounds coming together to produce these bands that are both shocking and stimulating at the same time. Three-fifths of our band actively remembers the '90s, so it's kind of interesting to see how that intense indie boom has deconstructed the way that indie bands and labels operate now that things have settled down. There are friends of ours that are coming into some success, and we heard that Bishop Allen is doing a soundtrack for a major film, but nobody really gets like Pearl Jam-big anymore.

A lot of the bands that we personally listen to are bands that have either been suggested by friends across the Internet, on blogs, or some of those music-recommending programs, like Because everything can be shared so freely, it makes exposing yourself to varying musical experiences very easy.

Your website says that Callie is heading out of town unless someone talks her out of it. Can she still be persuaded not to leave?

Unfortunately, by the time this article prints, she'll be in Minnesota. She's on trimesters at Carleton, so she won't be gone for very long stretches of time. And of course we support her decision to stick with school. She needs those college experiences under her belt anyway.

What'll be cool about her hiatus is that, since we all have a bit of multi-instrumental skill, we'll be able to play a lot of the same songs, just restructured a bit. We originally brought Kate on to be the bassist in Callie's stead, but Noah recently remembered that he enjoys playing baritone guitar and bass, so there'll be a lot of trade-off. It's giving us the opportunity to take a fresh look at the sound and the songs, and we're pretty excited to see where that takes us.

Before she left we began recording our new record, which may come out as a full-length or possibly a series of EPs. So far she's recorded all of her parts and will be able to help us during the mixing stage from afar. We're certainly entering a transitional period with her absence and we really wanted a recorded document of the band as it currently is." - The Valley Advocate

"SPIN Picks 7 Undiscovered Bands Worth a Listen"

Recommended if you like: Liz Phair, Cub
Why we picked them: Sprightly, female-fronted indie-pop that's coy enough to get away with namechecking They Might Be Giants in their lyrics. -

"True Colors"

[The True Jacqueline] take the baton from bands like Superchunk, Built to Spill, Mates of State, and early New Pornographers and run with it like Usain Bolt on Red Bull - The Devil Has The Best Tuna


Oh, yeah baby! Bring it on! You ever listen to an album that’s so delightfully bouncy, upbeat, and flat-out insanely appealing fun that it just makes you wanna say all sorts of wacky nice stuff. Well, man, this is exactly that kinda album. Y’know, sweet, lively, and positive, but never too cloying or cutesy, done with a winning blend of wide-eyed go-for-it energy and enthusiasm, sung with disarming spunkiness, and played with an equally engaging sense of smooth musicianship (gotta love those crunchy guitar riffs and neatly poppin’ basslines!), this darling is an absolute joy to hear from sparkling start to fabulous finish. So load it up, play it loud, and hit that repeat button, ‘cause this is the sort of hugely pleasurable album that warrants and deserves multiple listenings. - Jersey Beat & Not A Mongo Multimedia


EP: Major-minor-okay!
LP: Nice Bird
EP: Things Under Water



The True Jacqueline is an indie-rock band from Northampton, MA featuring Noah Stevralia, Kate Niemczyk, and Brian DiPippo. With charming twee vocals, unexpected time changes, and a solid rock foundation, The True Jacqueline offer twisty and unusual arrangements that always remain melodic. Their songs can be both campy and heartfelt; they write about life, pop culture, historical, and scientific subjects. The True Jacqueline have shared the stage with The War On Drugs, Bishop Allen, and Sam Roberts Band. Their eclectic sound allows them to pair well with many different bands. In 2009, tagged the band as one of “7 undiscovered rock bands worth a listen.”