Release Date: Oct 14, 2016
Record label: Mom + Pop Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
The dreamy, wide-screen '90s revivalism of Jagwar Ma's first album Howlin' gained the Australian duo a devoted fan base that bridged generations. People who lived through the baggy, dancefloor-friendly psych pop era of the actual '90s found much to love in the epically danceable tunes; younger people who may not know Northside from Flowered Up responded to the expansive, post-Animal Collective mashup of guitars, synths, and soaring vocals. Plus, the album had a large number of brilliant tunes.
Jagwar Ma’s music is best suited to loose feet and an even more fluid sense of consciousness. 2013 debut ‘Howlin’’ was a blueprint for berserk, atmospheric pop. Their live shows are even more disarming; songs that might sound structured become house-inflected juggernauts that could roll on for hours. But instead of wandering off down Neverland with a giant, spiralling follow-up or getting lost in an endless acid trip, The Australian trio’s next move is surprisingly direct.
Jagwar Ma’s second LP is another buzzy grab bag of tunes that take the wide-ranging expanse of psych rock and compress it to fit inside of a warehouse rave. Every Now & Then leans even more heavily on the trip-hop/dance side of the trio’s wheelhouse than its predecessor, and its widely varied textures consistently go down smootly. That Jagwar Ma were able to produce an album so tight and efficient is no small feat; many left-field acts struggle to contain their ideas on their second record which can often result in bloat and shapelessness.
With their 2013 debut album Howlin, Jagwar Ma showed they were not afraid to be exactly what they wanted to be. It can be very easy for up-and-coming bands to compromise their sound in search of quick success, but that was not the case for the Australian trio. The record was a trippy and expansive soundscape that touched on a wide range of genres; a heady cocktail of psychedelic rock, acid, pop and dance.
Andrew Weatherall may not have produced Jagwar Ma’s second album, Every Now & Then, but his paw prints are all over it. Following tours supporting their debut LP—and a close call with a shark in their native Australia—Jono Ma and Gabriel Winterfield headed to Europe, first to the derelict French sunflower farm where Howlin’ was recorded, then to Le Bunker, the London recording studio of the famed acid house DJ and home to his enormous record collection. “Andrew was in close proximity towards the end,” Ma told Stereogum in a recent interview.
On their debut record, 2013's Howlin', Jagwar Ma dedicated themselves to a hyper-pop sound built from nostalgic '90s Manchester club beats and melodic psychedelic pop songs. It was a decent enough record, but hasn't really left an impression. So is their sophomore effort, Every Now & Then, an improvement on Howlin'? Not entirely. Jagwar Ma prove they can pull off the same tricks as their debut, which is why it also shares many of the same flaws.
DJ Andrew Weatherall was Jagwar Ma’s studio neighbour when the Aussie psych group’s second album was being recorded. This record’s target market will not remember the moment British rock bands discovered acid house in the late 80s, often abetted by Weatherall. To those ears, Jagwar Ma’s mix of Screamadelica-era Primal Scream, baggy beats (some by Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa), and a soupcon of daisy age hip-hop may well sound fresh rather than bewilderingly retro.
Jagwar Ma 'Every Now And Then' (Marathon Artists)Jagwar Ma’s second LP is more of a rave than the Australian trio’s 2013 debut ‘Howlin’. Recorded between their native home and a French sunflower farm studio before being finished off in London with Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford, it frequently spirals into psychedelic-pop hedonism. ‘Say What You Feel’ and ‘Give Me A Reason’ are groove-laden standouts, ‘Batter Up’ boasts trippy beats and the bubbling production of ‘Don’t Mike It Right’ creates something out of very little.
Jagwar Ma's sophomore album drops in on the Australian trio pushing even more anthemic, beats gunning for stadiums and the dance floor alike. Like 2003 debut Howlin, the outfit bleeds Primal Scream psychedelia cut with an earnestness and optimism washing up in the wake of Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion. "Can we be real?" asks "Say What You Feel," setting up intoxicating grooves in "Give Me a Reason" and skuzzy, hypnotic lead single "OB1." The second LP mines elements from their debut, but pushes bigger and more ambitious with plenty of room left to grow.
by Mac Gushanas Conor Oberst, he of the prolific, does-he-ever-stop-working class of folk-rock, has now reached seven solo albums to go along with countless others in groups like Bright Eyes and Desaparecidos. With Ruminations, Oberst goes bare and simple: a dude, his guitar, a piano, and a harmonica. That harmonica quickly becomes Oberst’s best friend.