Canada has moved a very long way from Bryan Adams and Celine Dion being their only musical exports. In fact it seems that there is rarely a bad note coming from that vast land these days and Les Jupes do not change this trend. This is exhilarating, life affirming music. Yes there are nods to fellow compatriots Arcade Fire and waves to The National, but Les Jupes easily stand by them. Opener on their 'Negative Space' EP, 'Save Your Friends', is a bold mark of intent. It rouses around Michael P Falk's expansive baritone, while a shimmering female vocal only adds to the kaleidoscopic intensity of the song. The song has a measured stately start with a near plea, a wanting "to make things right". Then 'Save…' opens its arms wonderfully, and effortlessly switches from the driving, to the more insular verse, then ultimately expands into a vast windswept rush. It’s all delivered with a masterful touch.
'The Voice' is slightly more traditional in its structure, but no less rewarding for it, like Tindersticks dancing with a U2 flecked glitter ball. The song has a delicious pop sensibility and charm, and has flashes of Eels' idiosyncrasy while hooking deep into you; a joy of a song, that goes by too quickly. Coming on like a lost Scary Monsters gem, 'Hold Me Down' is another hit of an irresistible song. It has an everyman undercurrent that recalls 'I'm on Fire' Springsteen, as we hear Falk asking "how serious do you think I am?", all the while the song simply seduces you. A snippet of pure-post punk guitar shines at the end, leaving you wanting to hear much more of it. Final track 'Interview With A Contract Killer', is the perfect conclusion to this superb EP. It delves in the lyrical shrewdness that Nick Cave deals out so well, but rather than coating the music in the near maudlin and macabre, it is a shining new-wave blast that simply drives along, drawing you in on it’s ride. Les Jupes have truly whetted my appetite for their forthcoming album, and I can not wait to see what it wonders it has to behold.
Les Jupes' website
Pre-order the EP
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