Hot on the heels of their 2017 debut album, 'Rough Round The Edges', London collective JFK BLUE have returned with their second release, entitled 'Out Of The Blue'. Kicking off the 4-track EP, opener ‘Innocent Killer’ makes its uplifting, hook-laden presence felt with a driving bluesy dynamic, incorporating lengthy, jazzy swathes of psychedelic synths and keyboards into some passages, with scorching hard rock riffage rampantly injected into others. The unpredictable, shapeshifting nature of the record becomes apparent very early on with twists and turns around every corner - even the track’s very last note provides a little surprise!
Second track ‘All Comes Down’ delivers a breezy, carefree melody tinged with an air of melancholy, that presents a striking contrast to its predecessor. The layered soundscape and meandering instrumentals leave a dreamy trail that conjures up a vision of waves gently caressing exotic shores. This would be a perfect track to accompany a leisurely summer evening’s drive. Meanwhile, the vibrant, funky beat of ‘Slave’ brings the likes of Jamiroquai to mind. Again, we have something different on our hands, an organic creature that morphs and develops as it grows, capturing the sound of classic ‘80s Pop-Rock within its chorus, before ending abruptly, leaving you wondering what’s next.
Closing track ‘Better Than Nothing’ lends a darker, more dramatic tone to the record. This expressive, catchy song about heartbreak adds gusto to its melody with heartfelt vocals and a jangly piano. Heavy riffs and a very tasty guitar solo give the track a rockier edge and the overall composition demonstrates fine musicianship and impressive craftsmanship. This is my favourite track on the EP and its tune and lyrics will still be reverberating around my head the next day….“You gave me nothing but blue skies, but the clouds got in the way, that’s still better than nothing”.
Keyboard player Michael Kasper has joined the band since their previous release and has evidently brought a new direction to their sound. The band also boasts three principle songwriters, who have each brought their own slant and style to the table. Whereas the first album was recorded in four days in an analogue studio using vintage equipment (resulting in a live sound that took its inspiration from bands of the ‘60s), the new EP was recorded digitally and had considerably more time spent on its production. The outcome is a collection of four distinct songs, which showcase the thought and passion that has gone into their creation. Aptly titled, Out Of The Blue is a departure from the band’s debut album as it’s not as Blues oriented – In fact, JFK BLUE state as their philosophy “Our home is the Blues, but we go out a lot!” Ultimately, the variety on offer within this succinct opus reflects a band of diverse influences who are willing, and able, to cover all the bases.
'Out Of The Blue', which was launched at London’s The 100 Club on 30th October, is set to drop at the end of November and is a precursor to the band’s sophomore studio album, which is scheduled to land next year.
All Comes Down
Better Than Nothing
JFK Blue are:
Chris Elliot - Lead Vocals/Guitar
Iago Banet - Lead Guitar
Leslie Fleischman - Bass
Sol Ezra - Drums/Percussion/Vocals
Michael Kasper - Keyboards/Piano/Synths