Thrillharmonik is Jammes Luckett — vocals, guitar, bass, synthesizers, drums, orchestral and horn arrangements
bio written by Thomas Owen Anderson
Every once in a blue moon, a rare breed of artist comes along. One that breaks boundaries and relentlessly creates, as if that is what they were born to do. A true outlier in her own right, Los Angeles-based writer, multi-instrumentalist and composer Jammes Luckett is a storyteller who fits into this very select category.
Also known under her artistic guise Thrillharmonik, Luckett is unapologetically eclectic and impossible to be pigeonholed. The driving force behind this showcasing of a dizzying variety of musical styles and vocal characters is her primary goal to write songs for others to perform, ala the Brill Building and Motown stables of the 1960s. To date, her songs have been recorded by other artists on the soundtracks for ‘Masters of Horror‘ (Showtime) and the feature film ‘The Woman‘ (Modernciné).
In addition to those varying musical styles, Luckett’s work can be identified by her rich storytelling, sophisticated soundscapes, and contagious rhythms. Not to forget worldly vocals that combine catchy melodies, layered harmonies, and clever lyrics. Subsequently, Luckett’s concocted her own entirely new kind of musical mashup that manifests as something truly special and bursts with character. Because she plays multiple instruments and sings in a variety of timbres, you’d not be mistaken for having thought multiple people were involved.
Luckett’s long-spanning career itself is an unconventional one, fascinating and challenging to put any sort of label on. It also explains why even many of her simplest pop songs are often described as cinematic, as striking imagery appears in the minds of unsuspecting listeners.
Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, Jammes was raised on a steady diet of classic pop, rock, soul, funk, R&B, disco, and classical music. This eclectic education soon served a valuable purpose: after her father’s death, the then 8-year-old coped by using a bequeathed cassette recorder to teach herself how to write, play, and record a variety of instruments and genres. Luckett eventually moved through the ranks of multi-track cassette recorders to digital, learning the art of doing more with less and turning constraints into opportunities for experimentation and innovation.
While studying film, TV, animation, and music law at the University of Southern California, Jammes started a project called Alien Tempo Experiment 13 as a sandbox for her creative ideas. Between 1994 and 2000, her self-run imprint released over 80 lo-fi albums, EPs, and singles on cassette. During this period, she also performed at legendary Hollywood venues such as the Whisky-a-Go-Go, the Coconut Teaszer, and the Dizzy Debby. She also was selected for a prime slot at the International Pop Overthrow Music Festival.
Her lo-fi recordings inspired AJ Lambert (Sleepington, Nancy Sinatra) to release Luckett’s debut studio 7″ vinyl EP ‘Live! From The Roller Derby!’ on Lambert’s own Glimmerfed Records imprint in 1998. Co-produced with Lambert and Don Fleming (Sonic Youth, Shonen Knife, Hole), ‘Roller Derby’ received full-rotation airplay on influential stations such as KXLU.
Another USC classmate, Lucky McKee, soon went on to become a well-regarded horror screenwriter and director. McKee and Luckett’s genre-bending collaborations spanned multiple film and television projects such as ‘May‘ (Lionsgate), ‘The Woods’ (Sony/MGM/UA), and ‘Masters of Horror’ (Showtime).
Working with McKee and others, Luckett’s effective, unconventional approaches and musical diversity resulted in a number of honors and international media coverage. This included being hand-picked as a “Maestro of Horror” panelist at the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors‘ first-ever composer panel and a compilation album of her early work by soundtrack label La-La Land Records. She was also highlighted as “One to Watch” by The Los Angeles Times, Variety Magazine, and Ain’t It Cool News.
Luckett additionally enjoyed some success as one-half of the electronic production team DEUXO, with fellow composer/producer Schpilkas. The pair quickly achieved their goal for the short-lived project — they landed music in multiple major network shows, received industry press, as well as released a full-length album and E.P..
Jammes has also occasionally worked in advertising as an award-winning associate creative director and copywriter. In this field, she wrote and produced scripts for radio and TV spots; including original jingles and scores.
These days, you can find Jammes creating eclectic musical works under Thrillharmonik. Her 2018 release ‘Garagio‘ (a 60s and 70s-inspired concept album) received rave reviews amongst tastemakers. In February 2019, she released ‘A Story Foreword‘, a cinematic hip hop album that takes listeners on a historical journey through the African-American experience. Both are follow-ups in an “otherness” trilogy that began with Luckett’s full-length studio debut, ‘Vagus the Wandering Nerve‘.
I’ve also worked in film, television, and advertising — writing, performing and producing original music. This has included scores, songs, theme music, and jingles.
For more info, please hop over to my dedicated composer bio. You can also dive right into my composer demo page — it includes a dedicated bio and an assortment of video clips from my work with major and independent studios and agencies.