BEST NEW INDIE - JACOB COLLIER - WITH THE LOVE IN MY HEART
Multi-Instrumentalist and Composer Jacob Collier is full to exploding on "With The Love In My Heart," a gorgeous, transcendent slice of orchestral futuristic Pop.
You've got to give it up to Jacob Collier for being ambitious. "With The Love In My Heart" is the first in an impressive, ambitious, audacious 40-song cycle called Djesse that will be rolled out over the span of four albums. That alone warrants attention, showing just how far the once YouTube star is willing to go. That's barely scratching the surface, however, of the transcendent Pop instincts of "With The Love In My Heart," and Collier's futuristic spin of jazz, electronic music, sound manipulation, and kaleidoscopic structure.
"With The Love In My Heart" does not sound like a Pop single, or if it were, it would be in some Neoclassical alternate timeline where Van Dyke Parks was as influential as the Beach Boys. The track kicks off with some sugary, schmaltzy strings, straight from a vintage Disney movie. The staggering, stuttering digital drums truly catch you off guard, coming out of left field and forming a strange, lumpen-yet-still-funky base over which to let Collier's truly unique, chant-like vocals.
JACOB COLLIER - WITH THE LOVE IN MY HEART
"With The Love In My Heart" brings to mind both the ambitious orchestral almost-Neoclassical flavor of mid-2000s indie rock like Sufjan Stevens or Animal Collective, as played by a modern jazz cosmologist like Flying Lotus or Thundercat. Simultaneously, "With The Love In My Heart" is what it emulates - a piece of inspired Art Pop that's difficult to pin down.
Over "With The Love In My Heart"'s sprawling 7 minutes, it brings to mind weird world music like Yma Sumac to the recent prog paranoia of Radiohead to the final transmissions from David Bowie on Blackstar. It's like a flying carpet ride over a snowy landscape, with Abominable Snowmen dancing the watusi while the sun rises over thermal geysers.
It's a little nuts how many instruments there are in just one song on "With The Love In My Heart," in just one section. Which never repeat, by the way, just rising and then falling away like a memory in the rearview. We can't even begin to speculate how many ideas there will be on the entirety of Djresse as it emerges.
We Are: The Guard cannot wait to listen and count along. This could be a sign of a rising revolutionary progressivism. Let Pop be orchestral again!
J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.