🎵 Janky Star
Grace Ives’ new album, Janky Star, caught me a bit by surprise. I became immediately attached to the title of the album and recognized it’s almost complete disregard for musical conventions. It’s difficult to put this one neatly into a musical genre. It bounces a bit all over the place and practically dares you to try to classify it.
The Pitchfork review of the album, by Arielle Gordon, brings up the co-producer Justin Raisen, as partially responsible for the held together by duct-tape sound.
Justin Raisen, Janky Star’s co-producer, provides a richer backdrop for her flexible vocals, pushing beyond her Roland to include guitar, piano, and percussion. Raisen, who helped craft the sounds of Sky Ferreira, Kim Gordon, Yves Tumor, and Charli XCX, brings a similar controlled chaos to the album.
The album feels a bit like a sculpture put together from found objects. Ives jumps from channeling the ghost of Ric Ocasek with new wave guitar lines on “Shelly” and “On The Ground” to toy-sounding keyboards, simple programmed beats and pitch-shifted vocals on photo-R&B tracks like “Lullaby.” On “Angel of Business,” she throws around corporate buzz phrases with lines like, “I could circle back three hundred times, the numbers I could show” to go with the glitch-hop beats.
Janky Star showcases Ives’ unusual musical sensibilities and the range of her influences. The strength and versatility of her voice pairs well with the breadth of her sonic expression. If you like off-kilter pop, prepare to be delighted by this record.