Jennylee „Right On!“
For someone like me, someone who has been socialised in the Eighties and is in general a fairly eager consumer, Jenny Lee Lindbergh’s solo album as jennylee, which goes by the name of “Right On!”, obviously makes for a rather nice treat at the end of the year: “Right On!” sports ten very atmospheric tracks, which in their style are undeniably linked to the oeuvre of Warpaint (worth noting that drummer Stella Mozgawa is featured on the record, so it does not come as much of a surprise that overall similarities and similarities concerning the sound occur). The songs come across as bouncy, yet menacing, while at the same time there is an all-embracing, yet danceable and funky quality to them determining their sound and its structure, which is in fact one of the characteristics that makes Warpaint’s music so extraordinary and can be heard and felt on “Right On!” as well.
Maybe it is just me, but I take it from a bass player’s job within a band that he or she has a tendency for sticking to a certain structure and keeping it up as bass players usually do make for the backbone of the band – right? Jennylee’s tracks or respectively those songs that she put together with producer Norm Block all come across fairly pointed, reduced to what is necessary and neatly double-checked – despite all the drug abuse that may have gone down in the past. Considering the scarce titling of the tracks alone (“blind”, “never”, “bully”, “riot”) which flaunts the power of taciturnity and brevity in accordance with the thematic simplicity of the tracks that are often limited to one subject at a time and according to jennylee are supposed to sound raw, pure and existential.
“never” seems strongly rooted in the sound of Joy Division and early The Cure, whereas “offerings” delves into the scene of Seattle’s grunge in the Nineties – with “white noise” (note the two-word title!) culminating in just that manner. “he fresh” and “boom boom” in contrast are a lot more tender and sensitive, demonstrating that Warpaint/jennylee are contemporaries to The XX after all. The songs are naturally centred around the bass, it does however not necessarily dominate them, but rather makes for a structuring consistent underlying drone. Lindbergh leaves enough room within the songs for the other instruments so that for instance the carefully arranged guitar parts do not have to go unnoticed.
“Right On!” is a record that you can actually only listen to during the night time, just up until the break of dawn. In bright daylight the nocturnal, nebulous, kept in the shadows and in the fog, at times idly lazing about and then highly energetic, ever-changing moods that might all be found in a basement bar in the course of a long evening that extends into the early hours of the next day, seem slightly odd. You cannot help, but want to put on your shades. You also feel the desire to move. And to stare at the floor while you’re dancing. Holding a beer. Yeah, all of that seems like a very good idea to me – right on!
Note to self/New Year’s resolutions: look up synonyms for terms like “atmospheric”, “spheric”, “angelic” and “unsettling”.
02 boom boom
04 long lonely winter
07 he fresh
09 white devil
10 real life
(Translation: Tanita Sauf)