Los Angeles based vocalist Jillian Speer has released a stunning 6 track EP catalogue entitled “Daggers & Suede. At first glance this is a powerful album title. This established LA based star is somewhat of a musical force to be reckoned with. It’s pretty much a short but sweet masterpiece of complexity and adventurous depth proving once again that good Alternative Pop/Rock need not be taken too seriously – but never to be taken to lightly. Speer achieves her own distinctive voice in significant part by featuring the unique guitar/voice combination at the core of all these songs. At the same time with a plethora of instrumentation that 4-5 players can dish out – all making for a unique sonic experience altogether.

The ultimate beauty of this collection is clearly Speer herself, the way she so weaves her ever lamenting voice and battle cry in and out of the foreground of all these tracks. Speer clearly feels equally as comfortable powering through the modern alt-rock grooves of the former as tiptoeing through the more contemplative, sonic alternative punk contrails of the latter. In this musical environment Speer finds the seam between the two approaches, delivering a steady interlude of music in the midst of musical chaos making for a sizzling EP. This is a high-end production, all engineering aspects check out flawlessly. Much of the songs unfold in similar fashion as Speer and crew alternate solo/duo meditative moments with deftly executed, often challenging rocked out syncopation. If she wrote all these then she could be bigger than any of us realize at the moment. They are all quite remarkable players, composers and performers as well.  Vocally she has strong tonality and at times strong intensity. She’s never over the top with her singing thus always in the pocket, with emotions compatible with the score. I cannot overstate that the common thread throughout all of these pieces is her voice via some adventurous playing. Speer is the strong and radiant musical foundation on “Daggers & Suede.” This CD courageously explores the boundaries between modern alt-rock and clever neo-jazz with uncommon subtlety and well-executed grace.

– IndieArtistAlliance.com by Katherine Eddy