Release Date: Apr 1, 2014
Record label: Pias America
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic
Jamaica's sophomore album and U.S. debut, 2014's Ventura, is a fun, often dance-oriented mix of '70s and '80s-influenced melodic soft rock and new wave pop. Clearly cut from the same neo-vintage cloth as their French contemporaries Phoenix, Jamaica showcase the talents of Antoine Hilaire (vocals, guitar) and Flo Lyonnet (bass, vocals). The album, which started out as a recording project in a rented house on Ventura Boulevard (hence the title) in Los Angeles with producer Peter J.
2013 was a landmark year for French music. Daft Punk‘s monumental comeback shook the planet, and the latest album from Phoenix incited a fevered ruckus. Coming hot off the trails of arguably France’s biggest sonic exports (at least in this modern era), Jamaica have just finished tying a ribbon around their second album, Ventura. Though theyshare producer/audio engineer Peter Franco with Daft Punk, the robots’ work isn’t especially related to Jamaica’s.
If you’ve been unable to sleep for wondering what sort of creature the genetic splicing of The Strokes and Phoenix might produce, here’s relief in the form of Parisian duo Jamaica. Sharing not only Phoenix’s home turf but their slick pop sensibilities, they also have the bite and huge choruses of Casablancas and co, distilling it all into a chunky and appealing second album. While the handclapping ‘Two On Two’ is purest ‘Lisztomania’ and ‘High Then Low’ has the snaky drive of ’12:51′, Jamaica find their own voice in the chiming ‘Rushmore’, the bright power-pop of ‘Same Smile’ and the warped tremble of ‘Golden Times’ (featuring TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe).
French electro-rock duo Jamaica haven’t got the memo that the indie discos have all been lost to recession, The Wombats are “back in Liverpool” and Black Kids never taught that girl’s boyfriend how to dance. They’re more than happy to be playing a style of music that is deader to most than VHS and they radiate a refreshing enthusiasm and security in what they do.Opener ‘2on2’ is weirdly reminiscent of early 2000s American sitcom themes, with its sunny disposition and jaunty but driving pace. It’s just begging to accompany a montage of B-rate actors and needlessly informal fonts.