It proves trickier to label Nashville pair Jensen Sportag with a genre than it is to tag them, simply, as a band that should probably be bigger than they are by now.
Their relative lack of recognition may be due to the fact that, while their output is consistently strong, it is inconsistent in its frequency. While Austin Wilkinson and Elvis Craig have been making music together for a few years now, ‘Stealth Of Days’ is only their first full debut album.
While their formula of whispy R&B adorned with pretty, sparkling flourishes isn’t earth-shatteringly original in itself, Jensen Sportag do have a knack at crafting more complete-sounding tracks than many of their soundalikes.
Whenever their ideas may be in danger of becoming just too airy and floating off into insignificance, they rescue matters with old-fashioned good songwriting – tracks such as ‘Light Through Lace’ and ‘Under The Rose’ could exist in any decade and still comfortably be labelled jams, healthily marrying slick basslines with flashes of vocals and guitar that seem to flicker and twinkle in turn.
While relating any artist to Burial is a much over-used critical fallback and may initially seem particularly irrelevant here, it’s hard not to hear glimpses of the south London producer’s trademark R&B murmurs on the likes of ‘Six Senses’ (listen below), with its closing wistful cooing, “You were my angel, now you’re my ghost”.
Throughout, it’s this successful union of disparate musical strands, to comprise a cohesive end product, that makes ‘Stealth Of Days’ a triumph, and a record that stands out amongst its peers.
Words: Jack Scourfield
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There are always loads of new album reviews in Clash magazine, if they’re your thing.
Listen to ‘Stealth Of Days’ in full via Deezer, below…