When drummer and local music scene fixture Nabedi Osorio decamped to Los Angeles last year, it seemed like the end of the State Of, her act with vocalist and pianist Steph Taylor. Technically, both insisted the popular, New-Wave-inflected, indie-pop group hadn’t broken up — but suddenly, there was a lot less of Taylor’s signature expressive voice around town. Good news for her fans: She’s landed in the live line-up of a new act, Jean Jacket, which showcases her voice against a different, dystopian kind of backdrop.
The mastermind behind the group, though, is Harlowe Gee, the act’s vocalist, producer, and the sole player on the recent Jean Jacket album k cpu. Harlowe splits his time between Miami and L.A., and there’s plenty on these nine tracks that references both cities’ sunny-shadiness, with slick, shiny exteriors hiding dark corners.
The best tracks here play on similar contrasts, with bright, unapologetically computer-y tracks usually meeting disaffected, even pained vocals. Under the retro-futuristic, bleep-bloop haze, these are largely love — or rather, love-lost — songs. Among the best here is album-opener “Sea Foam,” built on a vocal line that loops back in on itself over muted percussion. Later, “Say Something Else” and “Please” serve as a two-track couplet. The former follows a Kavinsky-esque tack, full of slinky synths and a tale of regret. The next track then picks up on a refrain from the same vocals, looping it into a heavier-thumping warehouse groove.
Listen for yourself below, where you can stream and download the entire Jean Jacket album via Bandcamp. Steph Taylor will join Harlowe Gee live, alongside visual artist Victor Musacchia, at the group’s next show in Miami on March 9. Details are below.