LONDON-BASED DUO JOCKSTRAP ACCEPT THEIR NAME IS A POLARISING ONE. “Some individuals have stated the title’s good,” presents producer/keyboard-player Taylor Skye. “Some have stated it’s horrendous. It was inspiring for us as a result of it was fairly rebellious to start with.”
That rebel concerned a part-rejection of the tutorial musical values that have been instilled in Skye and singer/violinist Georgia Ellery on the Guildhall Faculty Of Music And Drama, the place the pair met in 2016. The previous was learning digital composition, the latter jazz, and for a few of their lecturers the stylistically stressed music they started making as Jockstrap – which veers wildly between conventional singer-songwriting approaches and dubstep-inspired cut-ups – appeared like a joke.
My academics turned their noses up at it.
“My academics type of turned their noses up at it,” laughs Ellery, who additionally performs in Black Nation, New Street. “The concept is that you simply go to music faculty, and also you dedicate all of your time to the instrument that you simply’re learning. And that’s not what I used to be doing. So I feel that’s the place I may need pissed them off.”
The pair’s debut LP, I Love You Jennifer B (Quantity 36 in MOJO’s Best Albums Of 2022) is definitely full of eccentric humour and purposely crunching gearshifts, however their formal coaching is on the similar time evident within the meticulous string preparations and basic songwriting tropes. Musical idea, for Ellery, stays “a device to work out the place you’re going to go subsequent harmonically”.
Direct influences on Jockstrap’s sound are arduous to pinpoint, however the truth that, rising up, Skye was equally in thrall to Stevie Surprise and Skrillex is one clue. Ellery, in the meantime, started learning violin at 5, and by seven was enjoying alongside her midwife/music therapist mom in a band at “this pagan pageant”, Golowan, in her native Penzance, and accompanying her mum to WOMAD. She additionally cites Elton John and Paul Simon as inspirations, together with Scott Walker (the album’s spectral ballad Lancaster Courtroom has distinct echoes of Scott 3) and early Joni Mitchell (if she’d been produced by James Blake) on the atmospheric, six-minute-long Concrete Over Water.
The duo’s modus operandi entails Ellery writing and recording songs, earlier than handing them over to Skye to enhance, and sonically polish or mangle. As an illustration, the floaty, harp-strewn Angst immediately snap-edits into the singer’s a cappella vocals erratically chopped within the model of the dubstep remixers (Nero; Flux Pavilion) that Skye beloved as a young person. “They simply made me realise which you can make utterly unique, emotional music within the type of a remix,” he says.
Visually, Jockstrap are equally putting. Their movies (edited by Ellery) vary from the unusual harlequin antics of Concrete Over Water – which seems to be like a Kate Bush promo from the early ’80s – to the walking-and-running scenes of Glasgow, through which Skye seems sporting cartoon-ish facial hair and pointy ears. “It’s a pleasant launch,” says Ellery. “After working actually arduous on the music and dealing very macro, it’s like stretching the opposite method. We’re not skilled in video-making, so something goes.” Very like Jockstrap’s music itself: an intriguing mix of fashion and mischief.
Georgia Ellery chooses to not clarify who the “Jennifer B” of the album’s title is, however insists she’s actual. “I noticed her final week for dinner,” she says, “and he or she’s fairly pleased with how her title was offered.”
Though busy with Jockstrap, Ellery hasn’t stop her different job, enjoying violin and singing with Black Nation, New Street. Having been compelled to reconfigure the band following the departure of singer/guitarist Isaac Wooden, she says the group are “writing music”, although received’t decide to confirming whether or not or not a 3rd album
Concrete Over Water
I Love You Jennifer B is out now, through Tough Commerce.
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