Artist: Postcards From Jeff
Album: Postcards From Jeff
Label: Alien Boutique
Ever since I started inviting readers of this blog to send me their music, I've been sent a wide array of music from all over the world. From the atmospheric of hip-hop of Ceiling Demons to the sun-kissed reggae vibes of Dojo, I've been more than happy to try and spread the word about some brilliant underground musical talent. But one submission this week may have topped the lot. Postcards from Jeff's self-titled debut EP is a thing of beauty, underpinned by cinematic pop soundscapes and the wonderful voice of singer Joss Worthington.
Falling somewhere between Matt Berninger's baritone, Jason Pierce's hoarse vocals and the gravelly tones of Mark 'E' Everett, Worthington's voice seems strangely familiar yet entirely unique at the same time. It also seems to take from the best of Manchester contemporary Ian Brown's husky, comforting, 20-fags-a-day voice.
Musically, the EP is backed by an ever-changing array of instruments of sounds, with orchestral strings, pentatonic piano lines and processed guitars serving up anthemic and often dramatic sonic backgrounds. Remarkably, the accomplished sound of Postcards From Jeff is brought together entirely by Worthington, who plays, records and mixes everything himself. It's a heck of an achievement to bring so many influences into a cohesive piece of work, but the part-time producer has certainly managed it here.
It's kicked off by A House, an anthemic opener which sets the tone for the rest of the EP. Wandering synths soon give way to a backdrop of pounding drums and acoustic guitars, the familiarity of Worthington's voice a suitable accompaniment to his honest and homely lyrics. It's melancholic and one of the standout songs that I've heard so far this year. Veronica follows suit, the ode to a former lover laying bare the honesty of Worthington once more: I'm like a sick rabbit/in the mouth of a dog.
The supremely-titled Agoraphobic House Party ventures more into dream territory than pop, the relatively sparse arrangement of the song making for a clear midpoint to the EP. Despite its short length, Postcards From Jeff has been put together with the sort of care normally reserved for much larger projects, from the carefully-ordered tracklist to the fittingly cinematic videos for A House and latest single Awake. And it is Awake which is the glorious closing track. With a infectious piano line leading the charge into your eardrums, it has all the hallmarks of a great pop song. Skilfully put together and masterfully executed, it is symbolic of this release as a whole.
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