Sweden’s premier exponent of dark electronic crooning, Jay-Jay Johanson, returns with a brand new EP entitled Moonshine. Comprising of two original songs and two cover versions, the EP manages to cram in more than an album’s worth of originality and ideas.
The EP’s title track kicks things off nicely with big beats, soulful vocals and adept song construction. ‘Moonshine’ is a tenebrous love song that swirls, swoons and simultaneously captures your heart and imagination.
‘Capricorn’ slows the pace and deepens the mood; the track showcases the huge depth of talent that Johanson utilizes to perfection throughout this EP. Think sombre musings of Barry Adamson, with a dash of Portishead thrown in for good measure and you will get a feel for the territory explored here.
If there wasn’t already enough ambience contained within the first two tracks on the EP, Johanson deftly takes on Brian Eno’s ‘By This River’. The track’s original melancholy is doubled and despite not straying too far away from the original composition, Johanson still manages to add his own unique touches.
Next up is Bats For Lashes, and Johanson’s version of ‘Laura’ is a joyous take on the original, sounding much like Massive Attack have been at the remix helm. Scratchy Trip-Hop beats carry the haunting vocal and gentle piano into dreamy ethereal terrains, it’s no wonder that the Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie has collaborated with Johanson.
Comparing the genius of J-JJ’s latest release with most “current” pop music, you cannot help but hear the ineptitude in what constitutes the majority of “popular” music today. Where auto-tune, repetition and mundane lyrics are the order of the day in the charts; it is refreshing to know that there are artists like Johanson still serving up stunning musical concoctions for pop purists everywhere.
19-Mar SPA Madrid Theatre Lara
20-Mar SPA Barcelona L’Auditori – Sala Oriol Martorell
21-Mar SPA Bilbao Santana 27
09-Apr BL Minsk Public Club
10-Apr UKR Kiev Sentrum club
14-May CH Basel Kaserne
15-May CH Zurich Theater Moods
06-June FR Metz Trinitaire
07-June PT Braga Theatro Circo
08-Jun FR Paris Cafe La Danse
09-Jul SP Santiago De Compostela Ciudad De La Cultura
10-Jul EP Pedro Muñoz La Harinera Auditorium
Words: Nick Vivid