Jamboree starts their five-track EP Island Life off with sparkling synthesizer sounds and crystal-clear rhodes tones. A low vocal line blanketed in a strong autotune slips over each song like a sheet of clear ice. Simple drum machine beats allow the tracks to indulge in long, echoing, reverb-soaked grooves.
The simplicity of the more laid-back second track “Defacement” allows the listener to sink into the jam, and for a change of gears at the end of the track to become a standout moment. Minor chords bring tension to the song’s bright first section, only to be resolved by a hopeful solo riff from the guitars.
“Not!!” is one of the more upbeat tunes on the EP, featuring a disco beat on the main hook with indie rock inflections throughout the rest of the song. A reverberated wall of synth tones backs up this track, only breaking down toward the end for an easeful denouement that leads the EP into more indie rock territory.
Island Life’s penultimate track “Old Thing” is heavier in sound and lyrically explores change in personhood. Intensity builds with a rising chord structure that underlines the more concise rock sound. A wild guitar solo leads to possibly the most intense moment in the EP, followed by the final track, a peaceful melody played on piano. Bringing a graceful close to the collection of music, “Alright” is backed by subtle synthesizers while the familiar low vocal tones sing reassuringly.
-- Ryan Haughey
Published in Volume 73, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 7, 2019)