Jamaican Queens-Wormfood

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Over the weekend I was introduced to trap-pop trio Jamaican Queens, who hail from Detroit. I’m a novice in the genre, but their sound reminds me of a more bass-leaning Of Montreal or Islands. They use a lot of synths, which gives the songs an otherworldly quality.

The vocals are often a mesh of male and female voices twisted together until they are indecipherable. They also employ a lot of live instruments mixed with computer-aided noises and beats. Producer Adam Pressley, singer/songwriter Ryan Spencer, and drummer Ryan Clancy have made a Red Bull and vodka of an album that puts you in a haze of ecstasy.

I really like the consistency of the record from song to song. It feels like one long piece of music with an intermission in the form of the 56-second, Karen O-sounding title track.

The album closes stronger than it starts, with my two favorite songs coming at tracks 7 and 8 (of 9). “Sharkteeth” has the best lyrical content, while “Asleep At The Wheel” is just a really fine example of song construction and usage of beats.

Wormfood took me by surprise. Based on the title and cover, I was prepared to be completely unimpressed. Jamaican Queens manage to pull together electronic craftsmanship and melody-making better than most. Releasing this as a debut LP puts a lot of pressure on them to make something even better.

The album will be available for download tomorrow, March 5. Jamaican Queens will be touring with Javelin and hitting Chicago March 23rd at Empty Bottle. Should be an interesting show-Javelin uses a similar soundscape, but in a more danceable way.

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