Drifting, atmospheric alt-pop driven by a sincere personal identity...

Awash with hues of both otherworldly psych and traditional pop tropes, Jerkcurb’s debut album 'Air Con Eden' is a record with a sincere personal identity. Since Jacob Read’s (Jerkcurb) first EP in 2016, his sound has been innovate and identifiable; woozy, wonky guitars lead his tracks, partnered with his emotive vocals and sometimes surreal lyrics.

'Air Con Eden' is overlaid with one distinct thread of style: a bit weird, a bit sensitive, a bit wobbly. Album opener ‘Shadowshow’ is episodic and muted, with gentle rolling guitars and spacey psych chords - perhaps made more mystical by its context, written whilst eclipse-chasing in Oregon. It’s stories like these that litter the album and bring it to life; the music paired with its story gives the album depth and animation.

‘Somerton Beach’ follows the tale of an unsolved murder case, ‘Water’ is an ode to the ocean that separated Read’s American mother and English father, and a defunct 1950s waterpark is serenaded in ‘Aquarena Springs.

It’s this attention to detail and genuine inspiration behind the record’s tracks that give it a sparkle, a sense of comprehensiveness. Musically, the record lies somewhere between indie-psych and retro Americana; there’s no shortage of nods to vintage blues from the ‘40s and hippie rock from the ‘70s, but there’s also no sense of a lack of individuality.

This is an album intended to be listened to deeply; you’ll uncover so much more whilst paying attention to every lyric and change in instrumentation. It feels like everything is considered and purposeful - so it should be listened to in that way. There are definite standouts on the album; ‘Shadowshow’, ‘Voodoo Saloon’, and ‘Morpheus’ Arms’ are all different in musical style but carry the same emotional depth.

'Air Con Eden' is an album that knows what it is: a story. Although it may be a surrealist story, something difficult to penetrate, it’s a delicate and genuine debut, filled with warbled and gentle soundscapes.

7/10

Words: Erin Bashford

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