Last week, Nashville chili-peppers Jensen Sportag released their long awaited second album, Stealth Of Days. It seems to be being referred to as their début, we’re not quite sure where that leaves their 2006 untitled full lengther on Midisport, maybe that was just a ‘collection of works’ or something? Anyhoo, despite having been listening to our promo copy of Stealth Of Days a hell of a lot over the past couple of months we dropped the ball and neglected to post a review in timely fashion. Real life stuff weighed heavy on our shoulders last week. Stupid real life stuff, always getting in the way of writing words on the internet. So without further ado, better late than never, let’s stick our heads in the chiller-cabinet and see what’s occurring.
At the time of writings, it’s a Sunday, and it’s Autumn. We could sum up Stealth Of Days by saying it’s a very Autumn Sunday album. It warms you when it’s cold outside, it’s relaxing without being dull, it’s intelligent and meticulously crafted and loaded with grooves to carry you away and spark your imagination, like so much of Jensen Sportags material. From that first CD, through the Sergio and Jackie EPs, to their début for Cascine, the Pure Wet EP, Austin and Elvis have always delivered something to get excited about. Drawing from R&B, Chillwave, Indie, SynthPop, Avant-Garde and a healthy dose of Yacht Rock, these guys have consistently unleashed music that is both funky and chilled, like a disco under the duvet. Very few artists can make music so complex so damn smooth.
The record kicks off with Rain Code, a hazy, ethereal, R&B tune that is a brave choice for album opener, but once you slip into it’s experimental waters it makes perfect sense, setting up stealth Of Day’s mood. Were this a soundtrack to a movie, this initial piece would convey in detail the world you were entering. The shuffling beats make their first appearance of Six Senses, alongside rounded LA Funk bass and light Disco licks that weaves though their haunting and abstract Soul. Stealth Of Days seems to get increasingly more coherent as it plays, the laid back beach groove of Light Through Lace leading to the the cavernous alt R&B of Falling Doves still keep the ghostly ambience going but upon hitting After Gardens the album starts to focus more. After Gardens is a silky slice of soulful Pop that precedes one of the albums highlights, Hidden, Hunted, a rolling and infectious slow jam were dreamlike vocals, ticking rhythms and reverb washed synths all hit just the right spot. Bellz and Under The Rose are up next, both good choices for advance preview tracks, both thick with supernatural grooves, resurrected 80s hooks and an otherworldly dancefloor appeal. Blue Shade works a smokey, night time, urban feel while Blood Hourglass closes the album in epic style with five minutes of piano led power jamz fed though a vintage radio. Awash with nostalgia, you get a sense of the genuine passion for what they are doing from Jensen Sportag on Stealth Of Days. Everything is so delicate and intricate and hones to perfection, the album really feels like a labour of love.
♫ Jensen Sportag – Hidden, Hunted
♫ Jensen Sportag – Falling Doves
♫ Jensen Sportag – Blue Shade
♫ Jensen Sportag – Bellz
Jensen Sportag’s Stealth Of Days is out now.
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