By: Nerhys Hall
Toronto-based pop-rock quartet Jane’s Party recently released their fourth full-length, Casual Island. The album began as a series of demos inspired by the band’s experience touring across Europe in 2016, but the finished product is clean and cohesive. A mix of different pop and rock sounds, the album also features three different guest artists: Leland Whitty from BADBADNOTGOOD, DJ Skratch Bastid, and Fast Romantics’ Kirty .
Casual Island starts off with a bang. Track one, “You’re the Light”, has a driving bass line, a surf rock feeling, and rich vocal harmonies. Songs three, five, and ten are also quite quick. “Wait for You”, the third track, begins with ambient sounds, but is then driven by a quick-paced guitar while the soft vocals push and pull against the seemingly simple sounding song. Song five, “Satellite”, is a fun piece of power-pop with different textures throughout the song. Track ten, “Drive” featuring Kirty, sounds right from the eighties with plenty of echo effects and heavily featuring synths.
The seventh song, “Epilogue”, is the shortest track. Just seventeen seconds long, it’s an old — or old sounding — recording of spoken male vocals. By contrast, the longest song, with a run time of just under four and a half minutes, is the ninth song, “Casual Island” featuring Leland Whitty. It’s a slower song that begins with a long intro using ambient water sounds and turns into a kind of psychedelic-sounding song. Two other songs also feature Whitty: song eight “Acknowledgements” and the final song, “Surfing on a Sinewave”. Both are psychedelic-sounding with synths. “Acknowledgements” also features atmospheric guitar effects, lush vocal harmonies, and no drums. Track twelve, “Surfing on a Sinewave” is a relaxed, bluesy, jazzy, instrumental jam. It’s a fantastic way to close the album.
Song two on the album, “Arrow” is probably the most psychedelic sounding of the songs, featuring an organ and a very relaxed feeling. The fourth song, “The Only One” begins like a slow country ballad, but then echo effects are piled on and it takes a more psychedelic feeling. “Straight from the Heart”, the sixth song, is particularly interesting with tempo changes between the verses and choruses, relaxed vocals juxtaposing the driving drum line, and guitar accents throughout. Another particularly interesting song, is the penultimate track, “Right Down the Line” featuring Skratch Bastid. It’s very synth-heavy with a synth solo and unlike the other songs on the album.
If you’re looking for a solid pop album full of psychedelic sounds and rich vocal harmonies, check out Jane’s Party’s latest release Casual Island.