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Jockstrap transcend limitations on I Love You Jennifer B

"I Love You Jennifer B"

Release date: 09 September 2022
Jockstrap jennifer b art
05 September 2022, 00:00 Written by Tom Williams

“If it doesn’t make sense to us, that’s quite nice” said Taylor Skye - one half of London duo Jockstrap - in a recent interview. If there’s one mindset that seemingly defines the duo’s debut LP, I Love You Jennifer B, it’s that.

Across 10 tracks that total 44 minutes in length, Jockstrap transcend the limits that usually constrain debut albums – it surely is the most ambitious debut of 2022 so far. “Concrete Over Water”, the album’s six minute centrepiece, is a work of dizzying ambition; beginning with hypnotic, reversed vocals before Georgia Ellery’s gorgeous voice relays a nostalgic tale of nights in the city, spent breathing in “European air”. Around the two minute mark, a dizzying array of electronic elements are introduced, before suddenly dissipating. Moments later, it’s just Ellery alone at the piano; demonstrating the band’s immense power during both their most minimalist and maximalist moments.

It’s Ellery’s stunning voice that consistently adds warmth to these songs of sharp-edged experimentation. It brings to life “Glasgow”, a coming of age tale filled with quintessentially-indie matter–of–fact, stream–of–consciousness lyrics (“You tipped me off that Glasgow could be a place to go / I said to you “Yes”, but I probably won’t”). Perhaps nowhere is Ellery’s voice a more effective tool than on “Angst” - combined with beautiful harp playing, the soft, luxurious sound palette can disguise the harsh truths at the song’s core. Telling of organs falling “apart in the dark” and a voice telling, “you fucking love / You love to fuck / to fuck it up”, “Angst” uses pregnancy as a metaphor to dissect anxiety. It’s an immensely powerful statement.

I Love You Jennifer B ends with a five minute, extended mix of the band’s song “50/50”. Wigged out, expansive and reliably bizarre, it finds the band at its most experimental; it’s filled with indecipherable cries, double tracked vocals, unconventional instrument combinations and heavy electronic manipulation. Will it be too extreme – too far out – for many listeners? Probably. But for the rest of us it’s positively thrilling to witness a band perpetually committed to pushing boundaries and creating music unlike anything else released before it.

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