You’re immersed in vast darkness. The only thing you can feel is the wooden floor beneath you, but you hear the faint sound of shuffling feet all around you. Suddenly a low, heavy tone permeates through your body and vibrates your bones. You look around, and you see that you are encircled by many people, but you can only see their mouths. Many are laughing, some are kissing, and they’re all smiling. Another monstrous tone resonates through you . . .
It’s a tough job, but somebody needs to be the flag-bearer for the loveless and the proudly brokenhearted. There are copious somber records, melancholic records, downer records if you will, so there ought to be a counterbalance in the form of a loudly content voice screaming in the face of bitter romance. Downers is the newest full-length from Detroit trio Jamaican Queens, and it falls in that category of which I speak.
This is an album about love, but these songs are about the kind of self-destructive love that drives one mad with resentment and misunderstanding. However, contrary to the ironic record title, these tracks are the furthest thing from downers. This group utilizes a unique concoction of neon synths and trap instrumentation to craft intricately-composed, genre-spanning anthems for the rambunctious romantic naysayer.
These pieces of music traverse through club-primed hip-hop, gothic indie-rock, experimental electronic, and baroque pop without skipping a beat, and frontman Ryan Spencer’s potent lyrics cut through it all with a sharp tongue. Although the subject matter may carry a heavy weight, the music as a whole is inescapably fun. If you’re seeking rambunctiously diverse, loveless electronic music, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)