Saturday, July 11, 2015

POSTCARDS FROM JEFF: "Modern Language"

Rating: RRR
Label: PrescriptionPR 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

What's all this, then? Mail from Manchester? Postcards From Jeff? Modern language? I must be out of touch as I can't recall the geezer? The debut album takes you on a vivid journey of melancholia and brooding rock. This could do as the soundtrack of the weary citizen of Manchester and Joss Worthington, the singer, producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, behind the Jeff moniker teamed up with filmmaker Steve Glashier after releasing his debut album. Steve's videos have formed a kind of abstract concept movie accompanying the record.

An elegy for cinema revealing stolen glimpses of another world, another life. Each track a cinematic snapshot, shifting and shimmering in a flickering film light, capturing the timeless claustrophobia and psychodramas of small town suburbia. A soundtrack to a world wrapped in a rich language of isolation, of disconnection and delicious melancholia, where characters reach out to connect but miscommunicate with every step, staring into the darkness from the tree lined streets, out across the windswept moors and epic cloudscapes to a coming storm.

It's emotional indie pop/rock with basic arrangements and atmospheric keyboards. The ten tracks on the record may cause the overall feeling of Twin Peaks meet Sigur Ros meet Brian Eno meet Mercury Rev. It's like staring into the universe and discovering planet Jeff where everything is the exact opposite to your expected response to indie melodies such as these. This world is not reality and there's more to these melodies than first meets the eye... ehh, ear.

You need time to spin this sucker over and over again and then let it all sink in for a week or two. Easy-listening? hardly. But the reward is darn pleasing in the end. Cinematic and disconnected - it's postcards from Jeff. We expect many more in the years to come.

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