As shoegaze seems to be pushing its boundaries in sound and intensity, UK band Jubilee Courts add their own striking and tantalising slice of sonic climate with the Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight EP. Holding five tracks which are as sultry as they are invasively seductive, the release brings a delicious merger of eighties post punk and psychedelically fuelled shoegaze with an incendiary and modern sonic rapacity. It makes for a proposition which carries a potently inciting familiarity but equally a uniquely fresh and provocative enticement.
Hailing from Northampton, Jubilee Courts was formed in 2011 by vocalist/guitarist Josh Falconer, guitarist Matt Bradstreet, and bassist/vocalist Harry Boyde. Soon building up a potent reputation with their live presence around their hometown and surrounding areas, the current line-up was completed with the addition of drummer Frank Robertson-Marriott. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Bauhaus, and Joy Division musically, T S Elliott and Delmore Schwartz lyrically, the band laid down a wider stretching lure with the Stalkers Records released single Room with a View at the end of 2013. Mixed by Temples frontman James Bagshaw, the track pushed the band into a fuller spotlight which Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight is sure to intensify. The band’s first EP is a thick and hazy adventure in breath and sound yet one which infuses at times a minimalistic intimacy and seductive romance to its ambient and melodic explorations, turning the imagination on its head whilst nagging with a monotone and humdrum persistence. Each song is an interpretation of life, an emotional and mental flirtation from which thoughts and senses find healthy inspiration.
City Flow brings the release to life, its initial sonic wind an attention taking intro from which a lone guitar begins teasing thoughts. Its melodic lead is swiftly accompanied by the dark shadows of the bass and the discord kissed vocals of Falconer. It is a raw and haunted enticement which instantly brings thoughts of The Jesus and Mary Chain and early Cure as the song wraps its evocative texture and sonic suggestion around the senses. Eventually the air and turbulence of the scenery increases, guitars creating a tension soaked flaming across bolder and broader rhythmic rumblings. It is a glorious start matched by the cacophonous beauty of Something Different. The again discord fuelled tempest which brings the song into view enslaves attention and appetite but soon makes way for a melody closely related to that within its predecessor, its niggling beckoning rich and irresistible. It too is only a moment in the journey of the track, a surf rock like stream of warmth and sonic acidity immersing ears in a sultry blaze. The instrumental is pure mesmerism, an inescapable soundscape through which the compelling dark bass lure of Boyde coldly tempers an escalating aural sunspot.
The startling entrance of the album is just as impressively continued by Outside Your House, its opening bait a heavy footed and slightly fuzzy bass prowl which is soon aligned to a percussive stomp and a ridiculously addictive guitar hook. A disorientating dance breaks out within the rhythms soon after, not for the first or last time Jubilee Courts binding a melodic elegance and smoothness with a seemingly disorganised and agitated but skilfully crafted contrast of ideation. There is always a rich essence of My Bloody Valentine to songs but here hints of bands like Birdland and Wire similarly add their suggestive whispers. The track continues to lay tender yet imposing melodic and sonic tendrils around the ears as the bass finds its darkest side yet to spark another wave of hunger for the EP which is matched to a lesser but still rich degree by Under the Sand Again. The song is the cloudiest of all on the release, its smoky air and turbulent weave of sonic trespass an insatiable pressure. Throughout though melodic veining shines pleadingly from within the thick atmosphere whilst vocally Falconer resonates and smoulders with his great unpolished tones. It is a heady mix but eventually clarity does free itself as the song builds to a fiery climax. The song is also one which misses that final spark which brings other tracks to bear so addictively on the passions.
The release saves its best proposal till the end, in the riveting and scintillating shape of Sunday Shift. A surf bred line of sonic irresistibility entwines itself around ears and imagination from its first breath, taking the initial lead as suggestive rhythms and a second strand of melodic toxicity rapidly add their spice. There is also fullness to the still minimalistic intent of the track which bounds across the senses but this time with every aspect finding its own clear voice in the entrancing weave. Providing an enthralling and nostalgic post punk temptation in its chilled hooks and rhythms as well as vocally, the track unveils an aural alchemy which even with its rich eighties flavouring and inspiration is innovative and virulently addictive.
To describe the music of Jubilee Courts thoughts of My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain, as well as Joy Division are unavoidable but to that essences of The Horrors, Wire, Crispy Ambulance, and Artery come into the mix. The band has though forged a sound and release in Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight which stands alone in presence as it gives an impressive and thrilling twist to shoegaze.
The Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight EP is available now.
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