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Tag: Phil Collins

Jimkata: In Motion is a Wild Ride

jimkata_in_motion

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

Devereaux: Hot-pink-grit good

Pineapple Flex

Devereaux’s LP Pineapple Flex gives off the same vibes as French action cinema, whose elements derive from Kung Fu flicks, Hollywood stunts, comedy, and Parisian crime shows. Picture a sonic retelling of La Femme Nikita, or even better, a badass electronic take on the Spice Girls minus the vocals, but with all of the spunky, flirty sexiness.

“Ponytails” begins with bells ringing, like the warning of an incoming locomotive. Then, drops a house beat that double-dutches into a line of a catchy vocals. The lyric “Whip your ponytail” summarizes the album’s party-twerking theme.

Bikini

To evolve the Spice Girl metaphor even more, “Bikini” would be Baby Spice sucking on a lollipop wearing a tight blue mini-skirt. Funky, dreamy ambiance oozes an island-love groove, but it’s the Phil Collins-inspired percussion that swirls in an 80’s retroness.

Overall, there is a mix of glitchy, ambient, and flat-out fun tracks that seal the deal in terms of an eclectic record. “CoastsaoC” is the crunchiest, creepiest song, while the emotive guitar riffs, twinkling texturizing, and lucid vocals create a groovy soundscape on “Sell the Rose.” “Xenodehuir” is infused with piano, an escalating bouncy house rhythm, trumpets, and chiming guitar that had me feeling funky fresh. “Next to Neon” pulls it all together with a flirty, retro beat that screams Prince influence.

And please ignore the cliche, but it’s the little things that count. The drops Devereaux employs are bricks of gold; At 1:40, “Azúcar” drops with the sound of a trigger being pulled, and at 2:30 “Fashion for Sharks” drops into a grittiness that sounds…exactly like sharks chomping down on your expectations for a drop.

The vocals and lyrics, spritzed like confetti, are also what form Devereaux’s precise sound. While not featured on every song, the vocals that do appear are a pleasant combination of both male and female, with the female vocals often singing French phrases. The easy, deep breathiness of the female vocalist on “Hatchets” has a Lana Del Ray flair, and the snippets of conversation recorded on “Costarricense” highlight the subtle humor Devereaux slips into these tracks.

So the next time I go on a fast motorcycle ride along a winding, mountainous highway or decide to fight neighborhood crime wearing nothing but a bikini and brass knuckles, I’m listening to this. Full of bold energy, Pineapple Flex is an animatedly euphoric, at times violent, assault on epic electronic music. It’s hot-pink-grit good. —Rachel Haney