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Jimkata: In Motion is a Wild Ride


Electronic rock trio Jimkata has released a full-length album, In Motion, at the most opportune time: as March comes slipping in under the slits of our hibernating eyes, In Motion is the perfect soundtrack to brush away the wintertime blues and awaken us to the vivacity of spring. Jimkata meshes electronic and jam band elements, which make a perfect setting for lyrics you may end up tattooing on your forearm.

You know those songs that give you nostalgic chills, the ones that narrated the first few tantalizing experiences of adulthood? “Wild Ride” accomplishes that emotion, conjuring up those feelings of teen angst and heart-pounding excitement. It has a youthful tingling, unapologetic rock elements, and a whirling anxiousness to it that made me feel like I was on a journey to an unknown destination. “Because you are a force to be reckoned with/You are a dreamer, a saint, stronger than wire/You won’t be defeated by any crook, any thieves, any liars,” the male vocalist sings. It sounds like Phil Collins’s way cooler sons are egging me on, telling me that I’m the shit.

And when I don’t feel like I’m the shit, “Won’t Let You Down” is right there to pick me back up again. Lyrics like, “I don’t know much/But I know that you’re my friend/And I won’t let you down” have such a genuine pulse to them that I feel like Jimkata and I have been friends since the carpool line in elementary school.

The instrumentation complements the lyrics each time: vigorous drum solos follow inspiring phrases; the powerful, sliding guitar lines of “In the Moment”seem to similarly tug us down; and airy synth parallels uplifting lyrics. Synergy exists between the music and the message throughout the album. The best example of this is on “Innocence.” While the lyrics, “When the innocence starts to fade/when in my mind I hope that it stays/never fall away from me,” are some of the more serious lines on this record, the groovy, carefree funk that accompanies it exhibits that breezy innocence the vocalist sings of.

I’ve had a reoccurring dream of standing under a tsunami wave that’s about to crash down on me since elementary school, and I’ve been analyzing it ever since. That’s why the lyrics, “Well you can ride the wave, and nothing stays the same/but it’s okay, it’s okay, ‘cause you can ride the wave,” in “Ride the Wave” feel destined for me. It’s Jimkata’s ability to create interaction between artist and listener that makes them special.

The blending of the rock instrumentation, electronic embellishments, and jam-band groove emphasizes their messages. The instrumentation elevates the lyrics with an optimism that, while sunny, feels serious, proactive, and personalized. That’s the power behind In Motion: lyrics that mean something specific to each person. So the next time I enter my lucid dream, instead of standing on the sand looking up at the wave, I’m diving in and riding it, because apparently, I can. –Rachel Haney