After two years, jade imagine finally broke the silence since their initial EP, releasing their new singles Big Old House and Remote Control. However, these tasty tracks are just a teaser for what’s to come in their debut album Basic Love is set for release on August 2 via Milk! Records.
Basic Love expands on the alternative/indie, neo-psychedelia sounds from the EP with the construction of a dreamy soundscape of steady, repetitive rhythms, floaty mid-tempo vocals and a colourful mix of poppy synths to gritty, distorted guitars. The opening track Gonna Do Nothing sets the tone for the album. Themes of modernity manifesting in daily repetition, expectation and conformity and a departure from it culminates in the singer’s ambivalent conclusion to just “do nothing”, withdrawing into themselves and away from the realities they’re confronted with.
The rest of the album follows suit, constructing a distorted, limbo-like dreamscape where concepts of reality and fantasy, entrapment and escape and confrontation and denial become blurred. Big Old House and its music video may be interpreted as the construction of an artificial reality, symbolic of being trapped for too long in one’s own head. “Open the blind, let the light in” coos Jade through the increasingly echoing ambience, reminiscent of a familiar alarm clock creeping its way into your subconscious until you finally awake to find you were dreaming.
Remote Control is the punchier, ‘80s sci-fi synth inspired standout of the album, presenting a less bleak, more poppy dreamscape that again explores a departure from reality via withdrawal into the technological escape that television provides. Despite the poppy tune, there are still undertones of fantasy escape as a denial of reality, especially when in the music video Jade becomes completely submerged in the ocean for diving in after a TV remote. Full of existential musings, an exploration of the unconscious expressed through dreamy, psychedelic distortion to poppy synth and even some super ‘80s saxophone to wrap up the final track Don’t Say It’s Over, Basic Love is your perfect lazy Sunday listening.
Milk! Records / Remote Control
Reviewed by Jess Sercombe