SMITHEREENS (Amazon UK Exclusive Black Ice Vinyl)
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All image and audio content is used by permission of the copyright holders or their agents, and/or according to fair dealing as per the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Now with a massively successful US tour opening for sweet soul darlings Thee Sacred Souls behind him, 2023 is sure to be a propitious year for Daptone's newest signee. bass is incredible, surface noise is essentially nonexistent, and the mastering is fantastic overall.
His full length debut on Daptone Records is equal parts raw feeling and elegance and exudes confidence and charm. SIDEB, largely produced by Joji himself, digs deeper into the lo-fi and off-kilter sounds that hark back to his experimental beginnings as an artist. SIDE A of the album heralds a mature sonic direction for Joji through wistful and contemplative ballads accompanied by lush production that blooms within each song.
The album is understated, though has it's experimental side on the second half of the project with stuttered vocals on 'YUKON (INTERLUDE)' and a light trap instrumental on 'NIGHT RIDER'. I really love this album on vinyl, wasn’t so sure digital but for some reason it hits different on physical. A routinely great artist, much of Sufjan's universal appeal comes from his skills as a gifted narrator, pairing personal musings on love and devotion with commentary on American culture, whilst welding folk and electronica, the ambient and existential.