jj: High Summer
jj: High Summer — “All I need is here on my wishlist: beer, cigarettes, you, and whiskey,” (Times) and the new EP High Summer by jj. With its released perfectly timed to coincide with the scorching temperatures of July, High Summer speaks volumes with its unabashed five songs. With endless quotable lines and catchy beats, it won’t just be the sun melting your face off.
jj is an indie/dream pop Swedish duo comprised of Joakim Benon and Elin Kastlander. Since their debut in 2009, jj has been constantly recreating themselves. Not only have they released multiple full length studio albums, they are forever releasing singles, collaborating with artists like Ne-Yo, and reworking an assortment of covers.
High Summer starts off with the title track, effervescent humming and then bounds into a string of indicative lyrics that continue with utter tenacity. Joakim and Elin’s voices combine creating an androgynous harmonizing that is so intriguing it becomes imperative to focus your attention on. This EP is permeated with an exacerbating arrogance that, against all of your better judgement, you can’t help but admire: “I don’t buy records, I make them. And I set records and break them” (Big Hearts, Big Dreams.)
A noteworthy departure amongst the immersion of summertime fun, is the song entitled ‘My Name’. Apart from the first line: “happens to be,” the song is in a different language. And interestingly enough it is spoken rather than sung, giving it an intensity unmatched by the other songs. Listing some thirty-odd names or words, the song is straight and to the point. jj even sneaks in a small sampling of Tommy James and the Shondells “I think we’re alone now: Children behave, that’s what they say when we’re together” (10).
Maybe a little sordid at times, High Summer evokes a carefree yet passionate sense that far too many people have lost long ago…8.8/10