Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pitstop: Junip

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I'm not exactly sure how I found out about Junip. I remember the band's name being on the ever-lengthening list of bands to check out for at least three months now until about a week ago when I purchased their debut album Fields on a whim. Swedish trio Junip is one of those bands that somehow manage to defy genre-fication. Featuring solo singer/songwriter Jose Gonzales on guitar and vocals, Elias Araya on drums, and Tobias Winterkorn on keyboard instruments like synthesizer and organ, the instrumental combination fools you into knowing what to expect. The band has a retro-rock sound without actually imitating anything combined with some folk elements. Their album is like stumbling into a jam session, sometimes lacking an apparent structure but rather being an organic growth. Unsurprising upon learning that the debut was 10 years in the making and that the three frequently improvised together. Their method of songwriting is actually to jam together and save the good bits that happen and try and do something with them. It's a good method for them. Instead of lyric-focused songs, you have these collections of songs that feature hand offs between vocals and instrumentals. The elusive quality of the vocals is actually what draws attention to them. They seductively meander away from you the most you listen for them, so instead you're forced to accept the music as a whole. The way it was meant to be. Here's hoping it's not another 10 years til their next album.

Get a taste of Junip with the video for "Always":

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