Joemca | (jum+ka) (One Stone Productions)

joemcaHe enunciates his intelligent lyrics crisply, even when effects are thrown into the mix. Remember the wonder with which you first heard Cy Curnin's voice (the Fixx)?

 

 

Bio information is deliciously hard to come by for Joemca, which frees me to make it up. I do know he's been called a Brooklyn wunderkind, and that he calls his backing band the Poets. I have in my hands (and through my headphones) his debut EP, a five-song blast of richly layered vocals and intriguing compositions.

Can I devote an entire paragraph to the vocals? Joemca's voice is strong, summery, shifting readily between calling out and layering over. He enunciates his intelligent lyrics crisply, even when effects are thrown into the mix. Remember the wonder with which you first heard Cy Curnin's voice (the Fixx)? Soften it a bit, add in piano and other electronic sounds, more of a warm feel than a stark emotion; got it?

The disc opens with "Strangers," as Joemca emerges from the sand where he's hidden himself. "I'm lost out here in the daylight, in the middle of a field/out here we're not free and there's no one left around," he says. Next up, the disc's most intricate and interesting song, "Panic Friend," layers vocals and keys and strings on top of one another. He's reaching out, calling for help; things are getting mixed up.

As you'd expect with a song called "Dead Paradise," there's an end-of-the-world feel to the middle song here. The party's still going on, the people are still talking and feeling good, but there's a hint that it may not last forever. There's an almost funereal piano backing "Glass Eye"; adding to the post-apocalyptic feel are lethargic whistling and eerie female backing vocals. Finally, we've moved past the earthly and into the good stuff. "Ode to the Sea" is perky, promising. "I wish I had a home down by the sea," Joemca croons, "with waves crashing into me." He paints an idyllic picture, his chocolate-y voice inviting us along. Breathe deeply through your gills and scissor kick. A | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: The Fixx, Interpol

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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