Release Date: Apr 14, 2009
Record label: Monotreme
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Although more than a decade has passed since their initial formation, Jeniferever first came to prominence courtesy of 2006's Choose A Bright Morning, released by this very site's sister label. While that record was undoubtedly a breath of fresh air amidst a sea of eighties clones and lad rock urchins, it would probably be fair to say that it was more a case of "right place, wrong time" as far as commercial success matching its instantaneous critical recognition was concerned. Indeed, at the time, many a discussion took place on these here boards as to why everywhere else hadn't picked up on its ethereal beauty, and rightly so; or maybe we were just ahead of our time too? Whatever the reasons, Choose A Bright Morning has burgeoned Jeniferever's fanbase since its release - something that would be apparent to anyone who's seen them in the flesh over the past few weeks can vouch for - as their near-as-dammit sold-out shows more than justify the vociferous praise bestowed their way.
It's the packaging that prompts the first feelings of unease when you encounter this album: a sort of double-gatefold digipack with an unconnected liner booklet printed on near-cardstock-weight paper, all wrapped in a cutaway slipcase and decorated with star maps. (And no track list on the outside. Track lists are apparently for shallow people.) It's as if the band is trying to convince you of the music's significance before you hear it.
Somewhere in my parent’s basement there undoubtedly lies a box of compact discs, untouched since high school, of bands that sound exactly like Sweden’s epic sad sacks Jeniferever. Mineral, Jejune, the Appleseed Cast, Sunny Day Real Estate—Jeniferever is evocative enough of all of these that anyone nostalgic for the days when a significant portion of the indie underground was populated sullen guitar bands who mixed an unabashed melodramatic sweep with pouty vocals and simple, chiming guitars will find ample sustenance in Spring Tides’ pleasantly melodic languor. The album is at its best when the songwriting allows the often tempered but nonetheless quite beautifully expressive vocals of singer Kristofer Jonson to stay in focus, as they do most effectively on the quasi-spoken-word “Ox-Eye” and, albeit inconsistently, on the typically overlong “Nangijala”.
Uppsala, Sweden’s Jeniferever methodically orchestrate layers of rich sound. The meticulous feel of their new album, Spring Tides, persists even when the music shifts through formidable layers of noise and sonic entropy. This album is a stirring blend of ambient and post-rock, with swaths of shoegaze and dream pop. Formed 1996, Jeniferever channel a lot of their native country’s beauty and dark winter through their guitars, keyboards, drums, bass, and vocals.