Listen Down: Jockstrap’s Wicked City

Wicked City is as aberrant as it is fantastic.

By Bubba Krishnamurti

Jockstrap makes music that is beyond description as it often does not stay honed in on a motif long enough to be dissected. Melodic structures contort in every direction and change gears as they demand repetition. Toy-sounding synths drive the constantly shifting arrangements. Free-formed jazz vocal melodies seamlessly intertwine with hip-hop, techno and rave. It’s disconcerting, outlandish, and whimsical. The perfect soundtrack to an equally freakish 2020. 

But the group doesn’t seem to make experimental music for oddities sake. This is well-focused, calculated musicianship thrown into a wood-chipper and cycled back through. The tunes on this record are not punches in the dark. The duo of Georgia Ellery (vocals/violin) and Taylor Skye (vocals/electronics) were introduced to one another at London’s Guildhall School of Music in 2016 and formed the band shortly thereafter. 

Their first release, I Want Another Affair, was released online in 2017 along with their first EP Love Is the Key to the City. Signed to avante-electronic sacred cow Warp Records earlier this year, Jockstrap’s Wicked City arrived this past Friday.  The teaser track, Acid, was released last February and has made the record’s full release highly anticipated. 

Bright spots on the record include The City; a pretty piano ditty that feels like a beautiful aberration on a record that almost trains you to prepare for shifting focus. As the glimmering piano portion of the tune recedes away, a vocal stretch carries it into a shrill, distorted electronic bit of architecture. 

Jockstrap is an act where musical prowess melds beautifully with attention deficit disorder. I just love it.

A recent message from the duo encourages people to buy the record on Bandcamp and support the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

“If you are buying, please buy from @bandcamp , where profits go to the NAACP legal defence fund. We hope our music can bring you joy and some relief during these times of shameful injustice and suffering. It has been important for us to reflect and act on this these past few weeks.”

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