Across albums, listeners look for growth and refinement; an improvement upon that artist’s existing musical skeleton. However, Jam City’s Jack Lantham ditched his whole skeleton when he woke up one day and decided to trade in club aesthetics for raw-edged post-punk. It’s kind of like the musical equivalent of that time in middle school when you stopped shopping at Abercrombie and started shopping at Hot Topic in the same mall visit.
Jam City’s first album, Classical Curves (Night Slugs) has been called “architectural” and “avant-garde trance” – I’d call it abstract dance music, but that’s a debate saved for a 3:45 AM in your friend’s loft. His second record, Dream a Garden, is not that. Nope nope nope.
Dream a Garden just doesn’t sound like the same man. An evil twin of him, maybe, but a separate person nonetheless. The album is a truly radical departure into a synthy-er, punky-er territory that consistently shows Jam City flexing more of his musicality. It sounds like a sparser Glowbug, and never does he ever let his lyrics become too ethereal and chorus-ed to the point where they’re unintelligible like he did on his first go-around. He’s got a voice, you guys, and he knows how to use it.
Indeed, Dream a Garden digs deep into Jack Lantham’s punk roots (a little birdy told us he wears a pin with the saying “protest and survive” on it), referencing a time when he hung out in London’s vast network of shitty shopping malls and said things like “Change needs a soundtrack.” Mmm, thoughtful post-punk never looked so good.
Is he in another band that’s also called Jam City ? It this is parallel universe where all sounds originate clean then reverberate back covered in grit? Is he making a whole bunch of statements on the new album that go beyond “Dance to this, minions?”
If you answered no, probably and yes respectively, then congratulations, you win trip to Disneyland. He even wrote an awesome, semi-militant statement about his shift:
Oh, baby. Here are two of his newer tracks off the album that melt our faces off with musical evolution the most-est.
Watch out for Dream a Garden, out on NIght Slugs on March 23rd.