JEEN has entered the 2020s with boot firmly planted in the current musical landscape.
JEEN (2020), Dog Bite (2021) and the forthcoming Tracer (2022) could be a trilogy of sorts. A strong reflective collection and a call on song to navigate these last couple of years. JEEN is a heady intoxicating record. Each track swirls with a sense of naivety and wild abandon. A “before times” if you will. With Dog Bite there is an enveloping intensity and immediacy which strongly reflects the moment in which it was recorded where all were being strangled and suffocated by the pandemic. Dog Bite might have the monicker of something ferocious and the sneer to back it but with Tracer there is a more vulnerable and fragile quality to JEEN’s vocals. Both warmer and less angular. Perhaps affected by past experience, perhaps intentional. Whichever way one can’t argue how intimate a space she creates on this album, vocally and sonically. Upon first listen one quickly realizes Tracer is an immersive experience. A challenge or even a dare, to sit with and allow oneself to be taken in and even more so taken over.
There will be four singles lifted from this ten tracker. The first three “On and On,” “Mountain” and “Chemical Emotion” lead the album track list. The spangly “Chemical Emotion” starts us off, takes our hand and the carousel begins. “On and On” is a gritty rollercoaster ride which embodies the immediacy and urgency of now framed by a distorted and echoed vocal. “Mountain”‘s hazy shoegaze evokes those summer nighttime drives on the open road with your best mates where song envelopes the entire moment.
Other tracks that strive for the spotlight are “Heaven X Headrush” with its thundering industrial energy as well as the fuzzy and heady “No Way Around” which flexes its glam punk muscle with ease. “Gone Too Far” slinks along until it absolutely doesn’t. There is no filler here, all killer.
Without sounding dated or cliche, JEEN takes us down the rabbit hole of decades past yet this feels very present. The influences are here. Grunge. Punk. Garage. Shoegaze, Prog and Psych rock. Tracer exudes the warmth of something familiar without being or feeling nostalgic. Every great record shares what the artist loves and inspires them with the listener. This is where Tracer absolutely shines. Yet this is all JEEN and this is her best.
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