Jesu’s sound is heavily layered and textured, drawing from and incorporating an eclectic mix of influences, ranging from ambient music, drone doom, toshoegazing, downtempo and industrial music. Broadrick himself has made it known that he does not consider Jesu to fall into any of these categories and that he has been intentionally writing what he considers to be coherent and structured pop songs.
Jesu’s first release, the Heart Ache EP, was released in 2004 and featured Broadrick performing all of the instruments and vocals alone. It was followed in 2005 by the full-length self-titled LP, which featured the addition of bassist Diarmuid Dalton and drummer Ted Parsons, although not every song features both members. A spring 2005 tour of Europe, in support of the album, featured Roderic Mounir of Knut filling in for Ted Parsons on drums.
With their third release, 2006’s four song Silver EP, Jesu took a more melodic and layered approach, gaining comparison to shoegazing band My Bloody Valentine. The majority of this release features Broadrick and Dalton, with Parsons joining them for the title track.
The full lineup recorded the second full-length album, Conqueror, which was released on February 20, 2007 in the United States, February 19 in the United Kingdom and Europe, and on February 2 in Japan. Broadrick and Dalton recorded the Sun Down / Sun Rise EP without Parsons for an April 23 release. This EP had already seen release in Japan where it had been packaged as a bonus CD for the Conqueror album. Jesu returned as a solo act with the release of a split 12″ album with Eluvium, released on July 5, 2007.
October 2007 saw the release of Pale Sketches, a collection of previously unreleased Jesu songs, performed entirely by Broadrick and recorded between 2000 and 2007. The album was released on Broadrick’s own label, Avalanche. That same month, a four song EP titled Lifeline, once again featuring Broadrick as the sole member, was released by Hydra Head in the United States and Daymare in Japan.
The band made their United States live debut in March 2007 as an opening act for Isis, although work permit problems caused them to miss the first three weeks of the tour. Neither Parsons nor Dalton were able to participate in the tour and were temporarily replaced by Danny Walker (of Intronaut) and long-time Broadrick collaborator Dave Cochrane (Head of David, God, Ice), respectively. During this tour, Jesu also made their South by Southwest debut as part of a Hydra Head Records showcase.
In late 2007, the band embarked on headlining tours of the United Kingdom, Japan, Europe and the United States. During this tour, Phil Petrocelli of Seattle band, Black Noise Cannon, took over as the band’s touring drummer.
Jesu released their second split release, this time with Japanese post-rock band, Envy, exclusively in Japan through Daymare Records on July 11, 2008. On August 12, 2008, a third split 12″, this time with Battle of Mice, was engineered by Joel Hamilton and released by Robotic Empire. The album had originally been announced in 2006 but was delayed while awaiting cover art.
On September 9, 2008, Hydra Head released Why Are We Not Perfect, a CDEP featuring the three Jesu songs previously only available on the Eluvium split vinyl album, as well as two new remixes. Daymare released the album, in Japan, with an additional third remix not available on the American release.
On September 23, 2008, Dwell Records released Like Black Holes in The Sky: The Tribute to Syd Barrett which features Jesu covering Pink Floyd‘s Chapter 24. Jesu also contributed a cover version ofThe Cure‘s The Funeral Party to Manimal Vinyl‘s Perfect As Cats: A Tribute to The Cure. The album was released digitally through iTunes on October 28, 2008. The CD edition of the album was released in stores on November 25, 2008, in a limited edition of 2,000 copies.
In March 2009, Broadrick announced a new one-song LP, titled Infinity, was scheduled for release through his own Avalanche Recordings label in June 2009, although, through his Twitter account, he later announced it was certain to be released in July. Infinity was made available to purchase through Broadrick’s Avalanche Recording webstore on July 23. On July 29, Broadrick made the album available via digital download. The album consists of one track, lasting approximately 50 minutes, performed entirely by Broadrick. On August 19, 2009, Daymare released the Infinity album as a two-disc set featuring an extra track as well as a re-release of Pale Sketches, containing a second disc featuring three new remixes.
Broadrick also announced that a new EP, titled Opiate Sun, would be released in July, 2009. The EP had originally been mentioned in 2008 but a title and official release date had yet to be announced.Opiate Sun was later rescheduled for October 27, 2009, and was released on Mark Kozelek‘s record label Caldo Verde. The Daymare edition of the album was released on November 6, 2009 in Japan and includes a “demo” version of one of the four songs as a bonus track. Initially, the EP was intended to be the first studio recording to include the lineup of Justin Broadrick, Dave Cochrane and Phil Petrocelli. This lineup was to be featured on two of the four tracks, with the classic lineup of Broadrick, Parsons and Dalton performing the other two tracks. The released version of the album features Broadick performing solo on all four tracks.
In June, 2009, Hydra Head re-released the Jesu/Envy split 12″ on CD. The label also released a double 10″ vinyl edition in September, 2009. On November 16, 2010, Hydra Head re-released the CD edition of the Heart Ache EP, packaged with Dethroned, a previously unreleased Jesu EP from 2003.
In March, 2010, Broadrick announced that he felt Jesu had strayed further away from the guitar driven music that he intended it to be and more into electronica. As a resolution, Broadrick stated that while Jesu will still contain electronic elements, it would return to a guitar driven sound and a new project, titled Pale Sketcher, would allow Broadrick to continue exploring the electronica oriented sound without interfering with Jesu.