His first independent release, 2010's 'Looking For Diamonds', was met with critical acclaim along with numerous comparisons to The Beatles and Brian Wilson being delivered from both sides of the Atlantic.
2012's full-length 'Star Map' album, featuring ten original songs, was hailed as one of the best of the entire year by such diverse critics as Absolute Powerpop, IPO Founder David Bash (number 15 of his 125 best of 2012), 1001 Records (number 346 of the 1001 best of 2012) and Under The Tangerine Tree (number 3 in the Top 10 of 2012). Jared's composition 'Too Far Gone' was one of Jivewired's 100 most played songs of 2012 and was also featured in the 2013 cult movie, Birdemic 2: The Resurrection.
In 2014, Lekites contributed a cover of Dwight Twilley Band’s Trying To Find My Baby to Australian power pop label, Zero Hour’s tribute album entitled “Twilley Won’t Mind”.
Lekites announced the launch of his new group, The Lunar Laugh. Their debut album, produced with noted Oklahoma musicians Graham Colton and Brine Webb, was released May 2015
2015 saw Jared contribute the music and score for the Jim Hansen/Jeffery Self film "You're Killing Me". Two of the songs from the film were released as a download-only single. Continuing a working partnership with Jeffery Self, Jared wrote, produced, and performed the theme music for Self's "This Is Really Important" podcast.
- Role / Instrument:
- Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboards, Drums, Production
- Brian Wilson, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, Andrew Gold, Paul Simon, Dave Edmunds, Johnny Cash, R.E.M., Michael Nesmith, Daniel Johnston
- Favorite Bands:
- The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Turtles, The Byrds,
|Too Far Gone (feat. K.C. Clifford)Star Map||Play →|
|Mixtape Jones Radio Show interview 12/4/10||Play →|
|The Electric Car BalletLooking For Diamonds [EP]||Play →|
|For Lack of A Better HeartStar Map||Play →|
if you know anything about me at all, you know I have a particular love for bands that combine pop and country and psychedelic in that sparkling, effervescent way that bands in 1968 in California were able to so perfectly. Give me the jangle of a 12-string, a bright melody, a hair of twang and some gorgeous vocal harmonies, and I’m so bloody in. This two-piece band do a pretty damn marvelous job of all of that — they remind me a lot of San Francisco’s Orange Peels, in fact, able to effortlessly do all of that while still sounding rooted enough in 2015 to not sound like a pure throwback, which is one hell of a feat. Highlights abound: the wistful, cheerful “Apollo,” the delightfully wide-open “On The Road,” the gorgeously low-key and twangy “Bottom of the World” and a niftily Byrdsy cover of Monkee Mike Nesmith’s “Some Of Shelly’s Blues,” which oughta give you a notion of where their head is at. I’m assuming main man Jared Lekites is responsible for the lion’s share of lead vocals, and his voice is clear and absolutely crisp, and the harmonies are knockout, too. Special points for the Milt Glaser-esque cover illustration by master designer Steve Stanley — I’m a nerd for this whole package, and if you dig some 60s chiming pop, you will be too.
— Jon Hunt, l'e'toile (Jun 10, 2015)
Jared teams up with Connor Anderson forming the band Lunar Laugh and tees up a “must-have” masterwork. Although this album is short, each song is instantly catchy and timeless pop that uses inspiration from the ’60s and ’70s without sounding too retro or imitative. “Man Against Man” is a quick paced rocker about partisanship in government. “Winsome” slows down just enough to a smoother mid-tempo chorus about looking back on childhood and “Apollo” is the LP centerpiece that recalls Lindsey Buckingham at his Fleetwood Mac peak with all the rich production and layered harmonies. Each song transitions well after the other, “On The Road” and “When I’m Alone” are both excellent pop gems. “Beds On Fire” is a slow atmospheric ballad with majestic piano that breaks things up, but then it jumps back on the bouncy pop wagon. Not a single wasted note here, and easily makes it as a candidate for my top ten of 2015 list. Amazon includes an extra track “Some of Shelly’s Blues.” Don’t miss this one!
— Aaron Kuperferg, Powerpopaholic (May 23, 2015)
Standout jangly tracks are “Sincerely” by Donovan’s Brain, “Trying To Find My Baby” by Jared Lekites, “Chance To Get Away” by the Bottle Kids,” “Didn’t You Say” by True Stories and “I Don’t Know My Name” by Spike Priggen. From start to finish – with or without chiming guitars – this is what a tribute disc should be!
— Pop Geek Heaven (Sep 19, 2014)
Jared has produced a single so catchy I can loop it my player and not get tired of it. Not much to say except I hope an album follows this gem of a single. The B-side “And It’s Over” has a little Jeff Lynne in its DNA, with its casual strum over a repeated muti-tracked chorus.
— Powerpopaholic (Mar 23, 2015)
Our film demanded the impossible - a key montage scene required a modern, well-crafted, catchy pop song as good as the best of The Beach Boys and Herman's Hermits. Thankfully, we heard Jared Lekites' "Too Far Gone" single and our prayers were answered.
— Jeff Gross, Producer of Birdemic 2: The Ressurection (Apr 10, 2013)
While Jared Lekites would probably pick the Beach Boys [over The Beatles] (he covers “Girl Don’t Tell Me”!), his songwriting is influenced strongly by both bands. Since I’m a bigger fan of “409″ than “Yesterday,” I immediately heard the sha-woop and sha-la-la harmonies so integral to the Beach Boys’ sound when I heard the Star Map opener “Too Far Gone.” The perky tune relies heavily on vocals, clapping and familiar start-stop rhythms, making its influences an easy peg. The title track, which follows, is a jubilant track about California. But then “For Lack of a Better Heart” apes all the best parts of the Beatles’ sound (which also includes clapping and vocal melodies, but in different harmonic structures). “Don’t Leave Me Now” has a Lennon/Harrison vibe going on. (Bonus: These songs are very nicely recorded, which allows all the parts to pop out.) I could keep writing, but here’s the skinny: Star Map is a vintage, guileless pop album that will make you smile. The songs are strong, the melodies are catchy, and Lekites has clearly worked his tail off to make it so (just like the aforementioned bands did). If you’re into bands like Ladybug Transistor and The Redwalls, this will be right up your alley.
— Independent Clauses (Aug 25, 2012)
Jared writes songs that are covered with pure magic. Can we put it in the top ranks of the heirs of the great poet, Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds? Yes, we CAN, definitely... “Too Far Gone” has a melody in the verse straight out of The Beach Boys’ Today!, and The tremendous uptempo beat requires the listener to hit the replay button with no resistance. The title track displays staggering genius in its structural, sensational and sudden changes of weather and climate. Jared lays out timeless fairy tales for teenagers, to paraphrase the natural synthesis of ‘Teenage symphonies to God ‘. “Rainy Day” and the moving “For Lack Of A Better Heart” are my personal favorites of the entire disc… Star Map, as far as I'm concerned, is the best album of 2012 in the ‘Wilsonesque’ category and, perhaps, the best ever to date.
— Under The Tangerine Tree (Jun 27, 2012)
Twenty years ago the Beach Boys seemed consigned to the oldies rack yet today their sound is experiencing the type of revolution that the Beatles have inspired since their inception. It’s taken pop a while to catch up with Brian Wilson style music because it’s more complex than certain Beatles riffs. Count Oklahoma’s Jared Lekites as one of the cannier innovators in this tradition. “Too Far Gone” has the ear-worm form of The Knickerbockers meet the Beach Boys while “Star Map” is a more overt tribute, beginning as acoustic West Coast folk/rock before shifting up into pure surf. ”Nepenthe” is an XTC-like melody with a sweet bridge and Lekites’ guitar recalls Curtains 4 You’s liquid lead guitarist ”Along the Lives of Love” dips into John Prine/Leonard Cohen territory and Lekites brings a touch of Tulsa twang to such songs as “If You Aint Lonely” and “For Lack of a Better Heart.” “Girl Don’t Tell Me” melds Hollies and Beach Boys and is as good as Jeff Foskett’s “Through My Window.” Which makes it as good as any number of Beach Boys songs. Four stars.
— Pop Geek Heaven (Jun 1, 2012)
It's totally excusable to ape Brian Wilson when you're aping him THIS WELL. [Star Map Part Two] is imaginative, compositionally brilliant, and executed perfectly...and all in a little bedroom studio. Jared's music helps me realize what's possible in terms of making music completely independently. Brilliance will always come through, even without record labels, mainstream radio or any of that biz.
— The Mixtape Jones Radio Show (Dec 13, 2011)
Lekites has certainly perfected the 1960s California retro-pop sound. Star Map is a lesson in poignant and majestic melodies which makes for a quick listen. That is to say, there is nothing on this CD that weighs it down. Even Along The Lines Of Love, which clocks in at over five minutes, comes nowhere near the over-extended-my-stay stage. Frankly, it's the best song on this disc, and Lekites avoids redundant chorus structure and the ever-repetitive fade out, common mistakes among other artists who attempt to pen pop standards that exceed the industry-standard 3m 30s time frame for this genre. In my opinion, Lekites is Brian Wilson light, or maybe even Brian Wilson incarnate, at least as far as style and substance is concerned, if not song writing ability, and this song best exemplifies that revelation. I know that's a strong declaration. Lekites lives up to that promise.
— Mike from JiveWired (Apr 21, 2012)
"Too Far Gone", with some nice harmonies from K.C. Clifford, is a pop delight with that California sound, while "Star Map" wouldn't sound out of place on Brian Wilson's "Smile". "Along the Lines of Love" is a gorgeous piano-based ballad, "For Lack of a Better Heart" reminds me of an old Joe South tune, and "Girl Don't Tell Me" makes nice use of Laurie Biagini on vocals to sound like a lost 60s classic.
— Steve, Absolute Powerpop (May 11, 2012)
Where [The Electric Car Ballet] scores for me is in keeping that Beatle-ish feel, and of course the endless 'spot the source' games and although Jared is obviously highly influenced by the band, it doesn't detract from the quality or style that he brings to the party. Recommended Beatles-influenced pop rock.
— RebelRiffs UK (Jun 13, 2010)
The musician wrote all the songs and plays all the instruments on his new EP Looking For Diamonds. Let me tell you, he certainly found a few.
— Snob's Music (May 20, 2010)
Within five seconds you will completely immerse yourself in this song and thereupon acknowledge the Brian Wilson comparisons. In a complimentary way (and probably unfair to Jared), after listening, I had to resist an insurmountable urge to switch over to the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" on my iTunes...
— Mike from Jivewired (Jan 30, 2011)
Listen to one song by Jared Lekites, and immediately you know there’s something different about him...
— Edmond Outlook (Mar 5, 2011)
Melody, deep harmonies, hooks? I can't get enough of them in this computer-dominated music hell perpetrated by the remnants of a mortally wounded music industry (thank the gods that music does not need a corporate structure to survive). No fancy gimmicks here. No videos with images that flash by so fast they want to make you want to stick a fork in your eye. This is music stripped down to what Lekites hears--- what Lekites wants.
— Rock and Reprise (Jan 16, 2011)
His EP is an incredible, beautiful Brian Wilson-esque burst of creativity. Go get it.
— Mixtape Jones Radio Show (Dec 11, 2010)
"Love That Lasts" recalls Brian Wilson's solo work, as it's both anthemic and melodic, while "Looking for a Diamond" sports a quirky melody and a glorious harmonica solo in the middle. "The Electric Car Ballet" is a fun number extolling the demise of the combustion engine, and "Let Your Hair Down Once in a While" is a bit more brooding than its title might indicate, but is a wonderful track nonetheless.
— Steve, Absolute Powerpop (Jun 8, 2010)
The impressive Beatlesque opener "Love That Lasts" lead by singer /guitarist Jared Lekites comes out and grabs you right away. The follow up is a folksy "Looking For A Diamond" which is made for a late night campfire, complete with handclaps and harmonica solo. Although his style is the familiar retro strums and harmonies, it's all well written and constructed. "Electric Car Ballet" bounces along and ends with a gorgeous ascending harmonic, and you have your first "must own" track for the stereo in your new Nissan Leaf. It gets a bit Buffalo Spingfield-ish with the moody "Unrequited Love Song" and ending track "Let Your Hair Down Once In A While." This EP fits in your playlist like a comfortable pair of jeans. Fans of The Beatles, Hollies, Beach Boys and James Taylor will surely love it.
— Aaron Kuperferg, Powerpopaholic (Jun 17, 2010)
- 9thdetails ↓Momentum: Art Doesn't Stand Still
Friday @ 8:00pmMomentum: Art Doesn’t Stand Still is an annual exhibition that features Oklahoma artists 30 years and younger, working in all media including 2-D and 3-D art, film, installations, performance and more. Held each year in Oklahoma City in March and Tulsa in October, the exhibition has continually presented a diversified look at emerging artistic talent in Oklahoma.
311 S. Klein Ave
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- 9thdetails ↓Momentum: Art Doesn't Stand Still
- 25thdetails ↓2012 OKC Festival of The Arts
Wednesday @ 2:00pmSince 1967, the Festival of the Arts has been Oklahoma City's rite of spring. The Festival is a community celebration of the visual arts, performing arts and culinary arts.
- 25thdetails ↓2012 OKC Festival of The Arts
- 13thdetails ↓Acoustic Show
Saturday @ 7:00pmIn honor of the grand re-opening of the Iron Rose, Jared will be playing his songs for those who wish to hear them. Food and adult beverages will be provided. Matty Zoob's art will also be on display.
We hope you will join us for a grand night of music, art, and hair.
4114 N Portland,
- 13thdetails ↓Acoustic Show