Brooklyn indie pop quartet Thelma is the brainchild of singer/songwriter and guitarist Natasha Jacobs, an alumna of New York's School of Visual Arts, who released her debut solo EP, Split Myths, in 2013.
Begun by Jacobs while she recovered from a severe leg fracture, the solo project started as a studio endeavor, but with the eventual aim of doing shows, in a bid to overcome her lifelong fear of live performance. A self-taught producer, Jacobs started out with a sparse avant folk style in the vein of Joanna Newsom
, but further experimentation with an array of effects pedals led her to craft a unique sound driven by the rich twang of her vintage-style Island electric guitar. The project was soon named Thelma after her late grandmother, and eventually evolved into a full live band with the addition of guitarist Juan Pablo Siles, his brother Daniel on drums, and Maciej Lewandowski on bass. Saxophonist John Stanesco also performed with the band on occasion. Their unique fusion of '90s-style indie rock, classic vocal pop, and old-time American music with Jacobs' fractured song structures and cryptic, abstract lyrics created a dreamlike atmosphere and struck a chord with audiences, leading them to become a popular live draw. Thelma's eponymous debut album was issued early in 2017 by Tiny Engines
. ~ John D. Buchanan, Rovi