“Greatest Hits” is a sublime demo of Jockstrap’s future-retroism. It feels opulent yet easy to wear, like a beaded Halston dug up at a roadside thrift store. He may be wrapped in movie strings, but the song is far from suffocating. Ellery and Skye are playing dress-up, nodding in Old Hollywood glamor and disco pomp. His way of digesting these references makes “Greatest Hits” feel fresh; it nods to the ’70s through the ’90s, and combines biblical imagery with 20th-century pop stars and a certain Queen of Versailles. The song’s title sounds like a tongue-in-cheek self-comment, while Jockstrap’s detailed production adds contemporary flair and a flash of humor (especially with an incessant squeak that sounds like “baby daddy”). After releasing a couple of somewhat grueling remix EPs and being diagnosed as “ironic” by a former teacher, Ellery and Skye now prove they’re fully capable of writing brilliant pop music: even the abstract expressionist can paint photorealistic portraits if the mood strikes. .
“Glasgow” is actually jennifer b.the greatest success of . It’s a hard-hitting road ballad fueled by acoustic drums and Ellery’s fiddle, arching like a kite. Sweet and enthusiastic, he’s ready to sing along, the track that could land them a slot at Glastonbury. Even if they’re making a way into the festival tents, Ellery and Skye are still strangers. jennifer b.The best tracks push heartfelt melodies to the brink of madness. “Concrete Over Water,” the album’s high-drama centerpiece, transforms from a bedroom confessional to an upgraded circus theme. Eerie vocal stabs pierce the perimeter of the song, giving the whole thing a touch of satanic ritual. On “Debra,” Skye lays down a colossal Bollywood riff, Technicolor streamers that sound like they’re shooting from a parade float. With her faltering, distorted mix and her scrapbook construction, “Debra” shares DNA with Jai Paul’s glorious “Str8 Outta Mumbai.” The song also contains Ellery’s most concise and moving lyrics to date: “Grief is just love with nowhere to go.”
The album is packed with sharp turns and forgeries, but instead of abandoning them as on previous recordings, Jockstrap spins to complete each track. The title track opens with clinical keystrokes and bizarre spoken interludes (one line, “Moving around in her fucking crochet pants looking at God knows what,” is apparently delivered by a Hank Hill robot). But the duo builds on this scratchy foundation, layering processed vocals and a synth wind melody. At the end of the song, the landscape looks different, but we can trace the path that led there. In jennifer b.The plot twists unfold like a delicious scandal at an art school. Just when you think these terrible kids in the orchestra are going to stick to their notation books, Jockstrap runs onto the bridge and flings every page into the Thames.
Our editors independently select all products featured on Pitchfork. However, when you purchase something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.