Leeds-based quintet Adult Jazz released their debut single “Springful/Am Gone” to much acclaim earlier this year, and today the band announces the release of their debut full-length album. Gist Is – which took over four years to complete, thanks to school, day jobs and the desire for artistic freedom – will be out on August 5th via their own label Spare Thought. Through nine tracks and 51 minutes, Gist Is is a voyage that’s startling, mesmerizing and magical from start to finish, taking a labyrinthian, fragmented pop-not-pop path, through breathtaking detours, incorporating songs within songs, but very light on its feet and as playful as it is cerebral. PRESS HERE to listen to “Spook,” the first single off of the album, now via TheFADER.com.
Whichever adjectives – and there will be many – are used to label Adult Jazz, only one thing is for certain: this music only obeys its own internal logic. “We don’t see ourselves as having a sound, it’s more aspects that we agree are within the scope of what we do,” says singer Harry Burgess. “Something melodic and friendly, but with an uncommon character. We like that juxtaposition between, say, something my mother would like, and something she would find difficult! We also don’t feel it’s necessary to tap an idea if we’ve done it once. It means the voices and words are free to be explored and dance around.”
That sense of exploration and freedom defines the sound and vision of Gist Is, from the upbeat, off-the-beat orbit of “Am Gone,” to the uncanny, skittering lullaby “Pigeon Skulls,” from the surging dig-rhythms of “Idiot Mantra,” to the shifting sections over ten entrancing minutes that is “Spook,” from “big, slow build to big joyful explosion to a reflective middle, then a massive long grandiose build to an end,” says Burgess. On its own, “Springful” appears to transform from blues spiritual to folk-pop to an Afro-tinged passage, which seems to keep the band off-guard as much as the listener. There are myriad samples, sonics that don’t readily admit which instrument made them on, and Burgess’ vocal dexterity, judiciously employing falsetto rather than using it as an over-egged default mechanism.
Enigmatic, non-linear, challenging, fascinating, and complex – it wouldn’t be ‘Adult Jazz’ if everything was spelt out and instantly understood. The gist is, Gist Is invites the listener to take time to discover its multiple folds, corners and tangents, but what is absolutely certain is a unique proposition, the combination of four audacious and brilliant musical minds.
Adult Jazz will play a headline show at The Waiting Room in London on June 24th. PRESS HERE for tickets.
Adult Jazz is Harry Burgess, Tom Howe, Tim Slater and Steven Wells.
2. Am Gone
4. Donne Tongue
5. Pigeon Skulls
7. Idiot Mantra
8. Be A Girl