ALBUM REVIEW: Jockstrap, I Love You Jennifer B
Jockstrap is a London musical duo who's idiosyncratic pop music has been making waves over the past few years. Their eclectic but organized mix of chamber pop, vintage hip-hop, singer-songwriter music and experimental electronic sounds is refreshing in confident it is. From the jump, this group has known what kind of music they wanted to make, and now I Love You Jennifer B sees the duo cashing in on their full potential. Georgia Ellery offers a smorgasbord of stringed instrumentation while co-producer Taylor Skye does his best to tastefully clash against it with his synth arrangements, machine drums and manipulations. The result is a truly brilliant record that feels like stepping into a musical time machine that is on the fritz, jumping from antique folk music backed by timpani drums on the misty "Lancaster Court" to '80s Miami workout tape vibes on "Greatest Hits". Georgia's voice is so modern indie, but has the range of someone like Fiona Apple or Joanna Newsom. This leads the band to continuously interesting territory, as on the epic warped speed single "Concrete Over Water". It's romantic and sensual at moments, with so comic relief to add to the subversion, as on "Jennifer B". It's classic and bursting with sonic experimentation, as on "What's It All About?". Hell, we even get a track that sounds like Soulwax ("50/50 - Extended Version"), a thrilling closer that I can't wait to use in a DJ set. Like Beth Gibbons and Geoff Barrow of Portishead, this duo is able to bring together the timeless sounds of old with the new waves in ways that are constantly hypnotic and ear-grabbing. This is one of the best debut records of the year, maybe even the best. It distills the charm and left-field qualities of the singles and EPs and makes them all work under one sturdy roof. New artists take notes.