Song of the Day: JJ - All White Everything

Song of the Day
09/16/2014
Jacob Webb
photo by Malin Bernalt

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “All White Everything” by JJ from the 2014 album V on Secretly Canadian.

JJ - All White Everything (MP3)

Emerging enigmatically in early 2009, the Swedish duo of Joakim Benon and Elin Kastlander's work as JJ is as gleaming and ethereal as their initial impressions were. Initially anonymous, the band's visual aesthetic (faded shades of white and red) and distinctive videos stood as the only known aspect of the project aside from their music, which they released prolifically over the first few years of their career. By 2011, their identities had been revealed and they'd toured behind their music, including an early US run with fellow lowercase romantics the xx. Now on their third album (and capitalizing their name), this year's V, the duo remain as alluring as ever, replicating the mystique of their faceless early days in their music.

Referencing one of Jay-Z's boldest lyrics in recent memory, JJ flip that line's braggadocio to create something far more fragmented and vulnerable on "All White Everything". Kastlander's echoing coo pins together a slew of varied, shimmering instrumental sections, ranging from echoing, ballad-style piano to sweeping, IDM-influenced beats. Kastlander's voice is steady throughout the song, giving lines like "what you know about that/no, you don't know a thing" a delivery that's equal parts affected and edging. Although its pieces are assembled from all kinds of musical and lyrical influences, "All White Everything" flows seamlessly, displaying its scattered elements with just enough clarity to discern, but never enough directness to reveal everything, keeping the duo's fascinating lure intact.

JJ don't have any shows announced at the moment, but any news regarding new shows or concerts will be posted on their website and Facebook. Below, watch the video for "All White Everything".

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