As expected yet still surprising
Emma Way
13:02 6th September 2022

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During a festival stint in August, I awoke to the instantly recognisable sound of Jockstrap’s extra clubby '50/50' being funneled out of a nearby rainbow tent on two consecutive nights, the glitching vocal production gratifying as the song developed with a high energy beat and industrial squelch of acid.

Cementing their name in past festival line-ups (including the one I find myself at), Georgia Ellery and Taylor Skye — collectively known as Jockstrap — have become known for this type of studio wizardry, seeming to craft styles around a composition rather than the other way around, never restricted, their sound resembling a compilation of preloved classics while simultaneously stretching across a brand-new bracket.

Jockstrap released their second EP Wicked City through Warp Records in 2021, the drop aligning with an audio-visual virtual exhibition, every song interconnecting with individual rooms of art and film. From debut EP Love Is the Key to the City (2018), the duo indulged in Louis Theroux documentaries for the likes of tracks 'Hayley' and the elevator pitch of 'I Want Another Affair'. 

The songwriting of I Love You Jennifer B houses a foundation many could only dream of for a debut record, with producer Taylor Skye reworking widely-accepted themes with thrashing and glitching dub sequences. Georgia’s voice is ornamental, like chinaware clashing inside an abrasive dishwasher, managing to coax a song into a theatrical space with a reward of a pumping sub-bass or dancefloor beat that you expected somewhere, sometime. 

More airy vocal textures feel especially close within tracks like 'Angst' where Georgia whispers and talk-sings over individually plucked harp strings. 'What’s It All About?' has the feel-good factor of a John Lewis Christmas advert with single 'Glasgow' having similar energy as it flits between more popular song structure narratives, moving in both senses.

In the holes, Ellery’s vocals soothe as electronic production and orchestral elements saunter, the rests and pauses filled by sub-bass, glitches and tampered vocal samples. Two extremes can be accounted for seconds away from each other: 'Concrete Over Water' is spatial and operatic then occupied by flickering synth lines and disrupting drums. I expected nothing less and still I’m surprised by I Love You Jennifer B — which is what makes Jockstrap so exciting.

I Love You Jennifer B arrives 9 September via Rough Trade Records.

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