J Fernandez, or Justin to his friends, makes hazy psychedelic pop in his bedroom above a stained glass studio in Chicago, he follows up a couple of EPs on local labels with this 12" on Atelier Ciseaux, which channels Syd Barrett psychedelia and Stereolab retro electronics into an innocent swirl of electric guitar, horns, vintage organs and tape echo.
Vinyl 12" £9.99
12" on Atelier Ciseaux.
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Despite the obscure name, obscure sleeve, there was some internal logic to me picking up this record and taking a look at it this morning. I’m glad I did. J Fernandez (or Justin to his mates) disregards the current penchant for using a band name for his solo evocations making it harder to seek out but the music contained within is a lovely brew.
You wanna soundbite? Ok Syd Barrett meets Stereolab. Opener ‘Memorize Now’ is a sparkling yet stuttering, moving along at a leisurely pace it’s not unlike some of the laid back pop Grandaddy or Thee More Shallows have produced in the past but the oddball chord changes and droning organs recall another group you may be familiar with….Broadcast. Ok the singer is male and it doesn’t have those wild production skills intact but it does have those wandering 60’s melodies and cinematic feel.
Whereas ‘Image’ is more of the same, ‘Failed Scales’ goes into full on freakout mode. You can imagine Justin stabbing the keyboards with knives. Overleaf ‘Cosmic Was’ goes waaaay further into Stereolab’s exotica with more chord and key changes than you could shake a stick at and closer ‘Close Your Eyes’ delves a little further into mysterious dark pop, hints of ‘Surf’s Up’ era Beach Boys lurking somewhere within the downbeat grooves. Promising stuff throughout.
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