While I thought all the ‘best of the year’ lists popping up now would make it easier to come up with some belated nominations for our ‘Breakthrough Band’ section but in fact I had quite a hard time finding something by a newcomer band that truly made a lasting impression on me and that we haven’t covered yet. Fortunately, I am safe for this week as nearly all the indie music connaisseurs put one of my favorite discoveries from earlier this year on their charts: jj. Little is known about this band (for a long time it wasn’t even sure whether they are a band) which is signed to Swedish boutique label Sincerely Yours which is also putting out other strongly limited records of acts such as The Tough Alliance and Salem.
Among the little information we have got is the artwork of jj’s debut full-length ‘N° 2’, boasting the largest leaf of pot seen on an album cover ever since Cypress Hill and the caribbean-flavoured, lush and reverb-laden ambient-flavoured twee-pop sound of the first leaked track ‘From Africa To Malaga’ already signalized that we’re in for a mellow and colourful drug-induced ride here. Following up with the album and especially their very own take of Lil Wayne’s ‘Lollipop’, going by the name of ‘Ecstasy’, made it all clear: this is music made for rolling. “When I’m in the club, I’m always on this drug/If you get a hug, guess what drug I’m on?” – while I wouldn’t know as I am too mentally unstable to experiment with chemicals, I guess the track name pretty much gives it away.
‘N° 2’ is definitely among the most recommended albums this year and also another (crack) rock-solid indication for indie musicians being heavily influenced by the sounds and lifestyles of American mainstream rappers, whose luxurious and wasteful glamour attitudes might be more important than ever in these post-recession, post-MJ times of pop music, keeping the dream of hedonism alive. And also, judging by the first reactions to the mad early leaked new Weezy album ‘Rebirth’, you are most likely better off with jj when looking for some Weezy-flavoured music involving hints of rockstar guitars. Check an unofficial but very suitable video to ‘Ecstasy’ by jj after the jump!