Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Norwegian duo Jouska enchant with abrasion and melody on their debut

"Everything Is Good"

Release date: 11 September 2020
Album of the week
07 September 2020, 08:00 Written by Steven Loftin
Straight out of Oslo, production duo Jouska has captured a little snapshot of what it is to be young in a world seemingly against the idea of allowing anyone to grow old. There’s chaos flitting about amongst a general sense of hopeful serenity, while life itself has a go at shaking these foundations.

Consisting of Marit Othilie Thorvik and Hans Olav Settem’s, Everything Is Good lives in a world of dualities: gently angelic vocals amidst a backdrop of booming beats that lead along a melody to carry you away.

From the very first moment on the titular opener, Thorik’s ghostly vocals radiate while ethereal synths hurriedly swell left to right. Just as things begin to rumble, the pace quickening, the melody is thrown off its natural course before erupting into the fall-out of a culminating night we’re all currently yearning for. This is the Jouska MO - layer the expected with the unexpected, in a somewhat similar vein to Grimes, and it makes for a thrilling listen.

Everything Is Good often feels like the true reflection of society in a broken world; nothing makes sense but balances this idea with a general understanding that we’re all just living and being hurt just the same. The messages can be just as on the nose, as they can waiting to be unravelled, for instance “Beat Up Your Baby” and it’s gentle synthesised waltz, toying around, floating daintily until falling apart like a haunted theme park with the echoes of "Please don't beat up your baby".

“Pink”, featuring a guest spot from upcoming Norwegian rapper doglover95, who’s spot fits right into the bedroom style of Lil Peep and his contemporaries brings out an understanding voice to try and make some semblance of sense. While “Born In Cash” dances around an infectious melodic component before the storm rolls in once more with a collapsing onslaught of bass.

Digging into the vulnerable side of being in a toxic relationship, the first instance being “Bring You Back”, and its all-too-relatable chorus of “I never thought that you would hurt me like that / it feels like a part of you is stuck inside of my head” leads into the sonic assault of “doing stuff that I really love to do”. A segue interlude bustling with news samples that even in its 27-second life span, is a solid appropriation of what it is to live in this 21st century, while also standing as a testament to the damage a toxic relationship can be with information swirling around, unsure of what it is true and what isn’t. Here lies the magic of Jouska, they see the layers that need peeling back,

“Lemon Twigs” continues this trend through a delicate downpour. Sounds drip gently, before being swallowed by a thunderous beat digging into the reality of a toxic relationship with the same overbearing weight as that feeling of being unable to trust or exist in your world since someone else is leeching the life from yours.

Closer, “Shadow” holds no musical weight, but its heft lies in the symbolism of its sparse atmosphere and more of Thorik’s delicate voice. Building a picture of an abandoned dance floor, lights still oscillating, discarded cups littering the floor, the echo of bass still rumbling in your ears, just as the realisation that everything still exists hits. Directly opposing the titular opener which at least holds some hope, the dropping of reality just leaves you wanting more.

Throughout the nine tracks on Everything Is Good comes a delicately assured sonic assault that lets you breathe as well as pulsating against your body as if you’re packed into a basement club; an opportunity exists in every face, but also the realities of life. Which is certainly something this promising duo know how to translate into tracks that will enchant, enrich and revive you.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next