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A Magazine for Sheffield


The set up of Jose Gonzalez’ haunting vocals, Elias Araya’s drumming finesse and Tobias Winterkorn’s keyboard competence return with new material in the form of the self-titled album Junip, a follow-up to the delightful and delectable 2010 debut Fields. On first glance it may seem intricate, but this is musical beauty in its purest sense. Compared to older tracks you can tell their sound has not only matured, it’s intensified.

Opener and first single ‘Line of Fire’ immediately grabs your attention. This track is powerful yet harmonious, a happy medium that Junip accomplish so well across the board; music that is alluring yet emotionally exhausting.

There’s nothing more gratifying than a song that make the cogs turn, gets you thinking, but at the same time is undemanding. Take ‘Suddenly’, a majestic blend of breezy vocals and delicate synths, or ‘Walking Lightly’, which showcases the band’s dreamy experimental folk slant on production. Both require little attention but are so intricate and capturing to the ear. Change up two notches and we are transported to ‘Villain’, one of their more percussive, bluesy songs, and my lucid favourite in the form of ‘Your Life, Your Call’. If Hot Chip and Heaven 17 were to bizarrely come together in musical unison this song would be the congenial lovechild.

Influences and name dropping aside, when presented with an album consisting of the likes of ‘Head First’, ‘Baton’, ‘Beginnings’ and ‘After All is Said and Done’, you have to question why this band has only produced two albums in its 15-year existence. Take away the wild success of Gonzalez’ version of The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’ and you realise that music of this calibre takes time. Junip’s ability to draw sounds from new realms and process them into something so stimulating and imaginative is striking, and we are treated to an emotional tide wave of melodies and the warm, sinuous tonal quality of Gonzalez’ voice. It isn’t often that music has the ability to take you on a real journey. On this album nothing is hurried and it all feels so effortless. Enjoy it at your leisure.