Jenn Champion - Single Rider
Jenn Champion has long been a member of the Seattle Indie Music scene. The bands she started and joined all sat pretty firmly within that genre and some of her solo work actually moved towards the Lo-Fi side of things. This new album, her debut under her name, however is miles away from those outings. This new album Single Rider is moody and dark, full of synthpop that get's it's cues from the 80s but pushes things forward from there. Her vocal feels almost generic at times, but that lack of highs and lows actually allows the song to shine brighter than Her vocal. "Holding On" is the first track where she even gives you some deeply felt singing, but that selective attitude make the highs extraordinarily high. Champion is album to find these moments of space and surging power to make points of the songs stand up and make you take notice. From there when you actually start to listen to the lyrics you get sucked down into her sexy and visceral world. This album could have easily followed some kind of trip hop path and been just another electronic infused moody pop album, but there are so many other dimensions to this album that make it so much more unique than that. Just when you think you've heard it all Champion brings in a track like "Hustle" driven purely by a piano and her vocals is totally different from anything else on the album but feels like it was meant to be there from the beginning.
On "Going Nowhere" there is a similar theme of piano and vocal but here she punctuates it with these deeply evocative electronics. They only kiss the track at points but it makes you beg for them to come back when they move away. The album includes two bonus tracks one piano version and a remix by Gold Brother of "Time to Regulate" that real dials up the electro-ness of the album and leaves you with this really slick lasting impression. The whole album flows from it's bright sythpop opening to the more subtle and rich depths that Jenn Champion takes you down in the later tracks. It's an experience that flows wonderfully from start to finish. I kept waiting for something that wasn't enjoyable or a point where the album just didn't make sense, but Champion fucking nails it on this thing. It's so vibey when it needs to be but her sweeter vocal pulls it out of whatever deep water the music pulls you into. Don't sleep on this album, Jenn Champion has truly done something special here.
8.8 out of 10