My love affair with Jupiter One is continuing apace. Normally, when I discover a band I really really like, I’m so absorbed in them that I forget to blog about them. So consider this a special effort to spread the word.
I got sent a review copy of Jupiter One’s latest studio album, Sunshower, last week. Since putting it onto my iPod, the album’s been playing constantly for the whole family. Sunshower is one of those rare delights – an album full of beautiful tunes that rarely hits a weak spot.
The songs range from upbeat, bounce-along indie-pop numbers to mellow acoustic tunes that exude more romance than any chart ballad you may have heard in the last ten years. Find Me A Place sees the band taking on a bluesy feel with the same understated delivery from lead vocalist K Ishibashi, and album closer People In The Mountain is a gorgeous masterpiece of acoustic fingerpicking.
Track by track
- Volcano: The album opener is packed full of fun riffs and grooves and an unusual lyrics about how the narrator created a volcano by ripping the top off a mountain. It’s total hare-brained fun, and the chorus revolves around him telling the townsfolk to ‘get out of the house’.
- Lights Go Out: A driving rock tune about a guy struggling with his ex-girlfriends new relationship. It’s an angry, frustrated tune, climaxing with an explosive guitar solo. Definitely one to shout along to.
- Flaming Arrow: A song I’m fairly sure is about an arsonist setting fire to a lover’s building with the aforementioned flaming arrow. Ishibashi’s trademark quirky lyrics and warm strumming guitars combine to make a very laid-back tune.
- Made In A Day: The only song that doesn’t quite stand out, only because it precedes the anthemic Anna.
- Anna: An epic song that sounds instantly familiar, as if you’ve heard it somewhere before. The whole tune is immersed in 80’s feel and the irresistible chorus begs to be sung along with. My favourite track of the album.
- Simple Stones: Possibly the funkiest track on Sunshower, this begins with a muted riff and keeps a frustrating bubbling under feeling right to the end. Definitely the perfect indie-disco track, I love the vocal processing on this one.
- High Plains Drifter: A throbbing ballad with washes of strings and flutes and chiming keyboards. High Plains Drifter is one of those tracks that doesn’t stand out lyrically, but is outstanding for its sonic beauty. Lush and dreamy…
- Find Me A Place: Another unexpected favourite, this has a bluesy feel and a delicate vocal. I just love the lyrics – “Find me a place, where the wind never blows, and I’ll kiss you again. I’ll kiss you again.” I’m not what you’d call a romantic – ask my wife – but this song gives me chills.
- Come On: If Find Me A Place got you maudlin with introspection, Come On should blow away the cobwebs. The band veers into radio-friendly rock territory with chugging verses and a rousing chorus. Great companion track for Lights Go Out, actually.
- Strange Teacher: Another dreamy, lilting track with soft guitar arpeggios and lazily-delivered lyrics. The descending guitar chords after every call of “You can turn me into that..” are delicious.
- People In The Mountain: The album closer’s a little stylistically out of place with the rest of the album, but no less fascinating. It sounds like it’s being sung by some itinerant turn of the century musician until soft strings begin to accompany on the second verse and the instrumentation subtly builds around Ishibashi’s vocals. Short but very sweet.
I have to say – the album begs to be listened to as a whole. That’s something I love, the full album experience, and Jupiter One have created a collection of fantastic songs which sound amazing together. I’ll continue to play this one to death!
Other reviewers say:
Here are a few other reviews of the album from around the web:
The album erupts with a killer track titled “Volcano” which has outer-worldly influences and then sucks you back into earth. K Ishibashi’s vocals are reminiscent of Motion City Soundtrack vocalist Justin Pierre, a voice that’s very easy to love and can play well across any genre or tempo.
Blurt Online says:
…from this moment on the album takes off and the true strengths of Jupiter One become all the more apparent: they manage to merge an impressive array of influences on this sophomore release, incorporating folk, jazz, dance, rock and elements of ‘80s pop.
After finally dragging myself away from ‘People In The Mountain’ I was tempted to go back to Wikipedia and change the description but couldn’t think of how to find the words to describe this band or their magical sounds. So all I can hope is that you will take my advice and listen to the album for yourself when it’s released on the 15th September. All I can promise it that you’ll be surprised. Hopefully pleasantly.
Enjoy, buy the album if you like it, and most of all, tell your friends about Jupiter One and spread the word about this great band!