“Jockstrap take us through a surreal narrative of beavers and bears, bathroom showers and orange jelly.”
WORDS BY JACK ALLSOP
SINGLE ARTWORK BY CHARLOTTE TAYLOR
Jockstrap – the ever strange and wonderful duo that is Taylor Skye and Georgia Ellery (of Black Country, New Road) – are back again. The City is out now on Warp Records.
The duo pack musical talent and an uncanny aesthetic into a 5 minute sonic breakdown, descending from a wistfully slow piano ballad (accompanied by Ellery’s subtly compelling vocals) into something dark, distorted and disquieting. Jockstrap take us through a surreal narrative of beavers and bears, bathroom showers and orange jelly. Ellery described the forthcoming Wicked City EP as having a heavy autobiographical narrative, which will take us, thematically, through sanity, madness, realism, surrealism, innocence, experience. 10 points to anyone who can work out what’s going on within The City’s lyrical mayhem.
“Shower water falling like a beating heart”
At times oddly poetic, at others choppy, broken and unsettling. It’s addictive. The track builds to a caustic climax, so far apart from how the piece begins that it serves as a stark reminder of the duo’s technical musical talent and a testament to the results of bold experimentation.
It is hard not to miss the classical, melodic strings (something which I have come to expect at each new Jockstrap release). Regardless, it is wildly exciting to see a group that is already sitting on the peripheries of contemporary genre labels, pushing themselves even further – into an altogether stranger and darker place. The road less travelled. I love it.
I have begun to notice a slow wave of electro-pop-oddities starting to creep in – from Holly Herndon and Caroline Polachek to Jerskin Fendrix, Jex Opolis and Moses Sumney. Creativity and boundaries are being pushed in all directions – an exciting prospect for any music-lover looking to hear something new.
It would, in all honesty, be a wild disservice to label this latest Jockstrap single with a few descriptive words or, heaven forbid, a genre. Have a listen and find out for yourself.
A five-song EP – ‘Wicked City’ – is coming our way on June 5th, and I for one am rather excited.
Whilst I’m here, these two have put out some absolutely FAB playlists recently which have got me onto some wonderful tracks such as The Orb’s Little Fluffy Clouds (keep your eyes peeled for this month’s Visceral picks) the track features a surprising sample of Steve Reich’s ‘Electric Counterpoint III’. Hearing those layers of guitars creeping subtly into the fold was a huge throwback to music GCSE (where’re my Edexcel heads at?). You can listen to those playlists here and here.
Pre-order Wicked City here.
FOR FANS OF
Moses Sumney | Black Country, New Road | Crack Cloud