Fresh Music Friday: Teen Jesus, LARA D, Jude Korab

Hello and welcome to a very exciting week in music! Get ready to be taken on a journey as Christine Lai, Zoe Biggs, and Matthew Forbes navigate through the latest and greatest from Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers, LARA D, and Jude Korab.

Up The Summit – Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers

Christine: Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers bring a rowdy punk-pop dynamism into 2022 with their latest single, ‘Up The Summit’. Known for their punchy guitars and punk rock sound, the band are unapologetic in their slice of indie grunge, singing “you must be up to something… you’re looking for something to talk about.” Lead vocalist, Anna Ryan is feisty, calling out with acerbic lyricism while accompanied by heavy guitars and pulsing bass. Having seen them live at a festival earlier this year, their passion is wild and ‘Up The Summit’ channels this energy into an edgy anthem. If you could bite your teeth into a song, this would be it. The song reminds me of girl in red’s if I could make it go quiet album and is laced with defiance, “while the paint is dripping off the walls and no one is around to mend it.”

Zoe: Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers is one of my favourite bands right now, and their new EP – Pretty Good For A Girl Band – and this track do not disappoint. ‘Up To Summit’ has a lighter chorus than what I’m used to hearing from them, but the grit of the introductory guitar riff and upbeat drum patterns uphold the band’s grunge-rock sound. The lyrics have a sort of lost-and-confused melancholy to them which perfectly echo the late-teen/young-adult experience. The edgy simplicity of this track makes it easy to sing along to, and it’s a perfect addition to Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers’ debut EP.

Matt: I’m liking the sense of foreboding here, particularly in regards to the imagery of cups building up next to a sink and paint dripping off walls. The lyrics do a good job of distinguishing between the restless anxiousness of the narrator and the unconcerned demeanour of the person they’re addressing. Musically, I don’t think this is much to write home about. The harmonies laced throughout the track are a standout quality, but there are not a lot of memorable moments in the instrumentation, and I do wish the overall sound was more dynamic, or even just a bit grittier. But despite my reservations, that chorus is inevitably going to be stuck in my head for the entire weekend.

Better By Myself – LARA D

Zoe: LARA D has such a gorgeous voice, that I wish there were more stripped backed moments in this track. The sax riff throughout this track is catchy, and it’s definitely one I can imagine getting radio airtime. The production on this track is quite reverb-heavy and a little repetitive, however, LARA D is definitely finding her groove in the r&b industry and I’d be keen to hear her vocals over some more innovative production.

Matt: Not really my thing if I’m being honest, but there’s still a lot to like. I’m a sucker for a simple, muted guitar line that can substantially bolster a groove without doing much, which is exactly what the guitar here does. Also, that bass is, for a lack of better words, CHUNKY. It works in conjunction with the percussion to provide a really solid, earthy quality to the track. That’s a pretty refreshing quality, given how airy and weightless a lot of alternative R&B can be nowadays. That rap verse was a fun surprise too!

Christine: Lara D coasts on contemporary R&B with her latest track, “Better By Myself”. Her vocal inflections remind me of Camila Cabello’s lyrical soprano tone and are smooth with moments of rasp, showcasing her wide vocal range. The track is akin to SZA and Kehlani’s style, and a short but catchy trumpet riff gives the song its memorable aural quality. She traverses the world of R&B and soul, singing in an assured fashion, “just brush it off my shoulder/ keeping all the words to myself / I do mean well.” There is a short vocal distortion just before she moves into rapping over a trap-style beat which caught me by surprise upon first listen. A performer who finds home in both singing and rap, Lara D is a trailblazer and is a name to watch out for.

Bird In The Attic – Jude Korab

Matt: Similar to the LARA D track, I have to admit that this kind of ultra-smooth, electronic R&B just really doesn’t do it for me. There are some cool production elements here, like the trippy reversed percussion during the piano solo, which itself is a fairly hypnotic and organic-sounding addition to the song. The dense layers of vocal harmony are well executed too, though I do find the actual singing to be fairly nondescript. It’s certainly a pleasant, breezy listen, but I’m not compelled to return to it any time soon.

Christine: Low sultry vocals and slow trap beats encompass Jude Korab’s’ latest release, ‘Bird in the Attic’. He occupies an alternative R&B soundscape that experiments with textured instrumentals, autotune and an occasional short keyboard glissando. Korab’s mix of beats and keys makes for an intriguing sound and gives an off-kilter soulful jazz harmony impression. For fans of Sabrina Claudio, Giveon and Daniel Caesar, Korab will be a pleasant addition to the typically downtempo mix.

Zoe: This track is absolutely insane (in a good way)! The production is a bit trippy and though it runs the risk of being too busy or complex, paired with Korab’s voice it works a treat. The piano line is beautiful and ties in well with the jazz tones in Korab’s vocal melody (Korab’s voice is rich and he’s really made sure to play to his strengths with his lines, as well as show off a bit). I actually really enjoy the ‘bird in the attic’ sound bite which I can only assume is Korab’s own voice pitched up (a lot). I know I’m going to be coming back to this track, again and again, to try and catch all the intricacies.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *