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Big Black Coat

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Album Review

There was a point between the release of It's All True and Big Black Coat when Junior Boys seemed finished. Talk of a planned EP was heard in 2012. Nothing surfaced. Years passed. All along, Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus were succeeding with individual pursuits. Greenspan was working closely with Jessy Lanza and Dan Snaith, and released solo singles on the latter's Jiaolong label. Didemus, who remained based in Berlin, issued productions of his own and launched Obsession Recordings. Their contractual obligation to Domino fulfilled, Junior Boys went dormant for the longest period of their existence. Greenspan, revitalized by his outside collaborations, eventually worked on JBs material with Didemus' involvement, and together, the musicians knocked out their fifth album, released on Greenspan's Geej label in his native Canada and on City Slang elsewhere. On Big Black Coat, the duo dredge, as uniquely as ever, from a pool of old sources, including post-disco, early and raw Chicago house, and the bizarre art-pop of Yellow Magic Orchestra (and graphically from Jesus and Mary Chain's Darklands). No two tracks sound similar, yet they all fit together. Take the almost minimalist "C'mon Baby," a chilling, droning acid house ballad that escalates slowly, immediately trailed by the intricate "Baby Give Up on It," a sun-splashed neo-boogie jam. One component that separates it from the four previous Junior Boys albums is the lyrics, influenced by conversations Greenspan has had with some male patrons of the bar/cafe/gallery he co-owns. Given the frequency with which Greenspan uses "baby" as a term of endearment, it could be inferred that the material is very personal; all of it is directed at a "you," and none of it sounds disconnected, even the vocals are run through a battery of effects. Many of the lines can indeed be heard as thoughts of fanatical creeps. "You Say That," for instance, opens the album with "I've been waiting every single day, but you don't know, you don't know," then turns it up a notch with "There's a little piece of me inside you, but you don't know." Even Bobby Caldwell's red-haired soul classic "What You Won't Do for Love," refurbished as a Colourbox-meets-Stock, Aitken & Waterman soundclash, takes on a darker hue; in this context, "Got a thing for you and I can't let go" faintly resembles a threat. Compulsive in more than one sense, Big Black Coat contends with Last Exit as Junior Boys' deepest, most vibrant work.

Customer Reviews

Thank you boys!

Was really needing some new dance music. Love the build up of "Big Black Coat". Somehow managed to make a soothing-sexy-chill-yet-danceable track "over it".
Im so in love, can't wait to hear the rest of the album and hear you boys perform in seattle and portland shows in March!

Impressively good!

Gosh what a relief Junior Boys are back to addictively slick following that awful 80's tribute.

KEXP

Heard this on KEXP 90.3. Sounds incredibly interesting dance.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A Hamilton, Ontario-based electronic pop group, Junior Boys began as a duo with duties split between Jeremy Greenspan and Johnny Dark. Influenced by a number of underground and commercial sectors, including post-disco, arty synth pop, minimal techno, U.K. garage, and certain contemporary rap production styles, the two made a demo with no positive results. Dark opted to leave the group, but former Warp employee Nick Kilroy heard the songs and became interested enough to start the KIN label with Junior...
Full Bio
Big Black Coat, Junior Boys
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