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|Origin||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|Genres||Grunge, Indie rock|
|Labels||Sub Pop, Cinnamon Toast|
|Associated acts||The Vees, Joe Pernice, Sloan|
|Past members||Jennifer Pierce
Jale was an Grunge band from Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada. Contemporaries of Sloan and The Super Friendz, they were formed in 1992 and disbanded in 1996. Although they only released three records in all (the albums Dreamcake and So Wound and the EP "Closed"), Jale is considered[by whom?] one of the more influential bands to come out of the mid-1990s Halifax scene.
Jale was formed by four art school students in 1992: guitarist Jennifer Pierce, who had earlier sung backup on the album Smeared by Sloan; drummer Alyson MacLeod; bassist Laura Stein; and guitarist Eve Hartling. The band's name was formed from the first letters of the members' first names. Local legend had it that the band formed after all four members attended a concert by Washington, D.C.-based band Velocity Girl; whether that was true or not, Jale's early recordings resembled that band's work.
Chris Murphy of Sloan introduced Pierce and MacLeod, and later lent equipment to the fledgling band and booked them for opening slots at Sloan concerts. Early singles released on Halifax independent record labels drew the attention of American label Sub Pop Records, and Jale became the second Canadian band (after Eric's Trip) to be signed to the Seattle label.
Dreamcake and the departure of MacLeod
Jale's first album, Dreamcake, was released in 1994. Although all four wrote and sang on the record, MacLeod emerged as the leading songwriter in the group. Dreamcake was lauded in the Canadian music press as an emotional "alt-rock" success.
Despite a relatively successful tour of Canada, the United States, and England through 1994 and 1995, MacLeod became increasingly unhappy with the set-up of the band, and in particular her role as drummer. Friction between the band and Sub Pop, especially over Sub Pop's lack of promotion for the "Closed" EP, only served to heighten MacLeod's dissatisfaction, and she left Jale in early 1995 to join the St. John's, Newfoundland band The Hardship Post.
So Wound and the breakup
In November 1995, Jale regrouped to record their second album, So Wound, in Chicago. Mike Belitsky of alt-country band The Sadies replaced McLeod as drummer. So Wound displayed a significantly more power-pop sound than its predecessors, and appeared to contain radio-friendly hits in "All Ready" and "Ali." Once again, however, arguments between the band's management and Sub Pop hampered the album's success.
Only a few months after the release of So Wound, Jale came to an abrupt end. Guitarist Eve Hartling announced that she was pregnant with music manager and lawyer Chip Sutherland's baby, and would be unable to tour with the band. After the birth of her daughter Kate, Hartling and the other three remaining members of Jale split company, with Hartling claiming she had been fired, and the other three arguing that Hartling had quit.
After the breakup
Jennifer Pierce, Laura Stein, and Mike Belitsky continued on as The Vees, touring Canada twice and releasing a self-titled EP on Halifax label Murderecords in 1997; however, the band did not last long and disbanded the following year.
Much to the surprise of many observers, Pierce, Stein, and Belitsky all resurfaced in 2000: the three appeared on the self-titled album by Chappaquiddick Skyline, a side project of the Massachusetts-based Pernice Brothers. Stein and Belitsky later appeared on the Pernice Brothers' albums The World Won't End (2001) and Yours, Mine and Ours (2003). Stein's relationship to the band proved not just musical: in 2003 she and band frontman Joe Pernice were married.