Swedish duo jj were shrouded in the kind of mystery that can only be perpetuated by music blogs, so it’s telling that by the time we get round to doing something on them the mystery has vanished (you can see them below) and Pitchfork are calling their new album “not very good” (or something a bit more wordy).
It’s hard to describe the music jj make – balearic beat or dream pop seem the most appropriate – and there’s an air of dissaffection and general inertia that’s quite appealing, as if it’s not really terribly important what you think of the music, it’s just there. To emphasis the point, all three of their releases so far have just been ascending numbers, so their new ‘full-length’ (it’s 26 minutes long) is called, simply, jj n° 3. The follow-up to the breathtaking, jj n° 2 (obviously), it’s not the musical shit heap that Pitchfork makes out, but rather a slightly more formless and downbeat affair. As with recent tour campanions (and fellow fans of letters), The xx, jj’s music is simultaneously vaporous and compelling, loaded with emotion but barely breaking a sweat. They also share a love of hip-hop, with jj choosing to seak inspiration from current jailbird Lil Wayne on the opening track, ‘My Life’.
Below is the first single from jj n° 3, ‘Let Go’, and it features a nice dog, the two band members and a recurring visual theme, blood.
jj n° 3 isn’t officially out until May but you can buy it from Rough Trade as part of an exclusive deal that also means you get jj n° 2 included. It goes without saying that you should buy these two albums right now!