Cometh the Lockdown, cometh the collaboration. Well, it makes sense dunnit? Bands can’t get together to rehearse and play gigs, so they might as well try something new and different with someone over the internet wires, until we can all look each other in the eye again. So here at SLAP we were intrigued when an email dropped in our inbox from Stella the singer with The Strays, a Midlands rockabilly band that we’ve featured a few times in our pages. Stella was keen to tell us about “Face!” her new collaboration with singer/producer Jupiter’s Basement, so we thought we’d take a listen. “Face!” is a fascinating combination of crunching guitars, skyscraping harmonies and throbbing synths. It’s like Green Day covering a Muse song, which someone has bootlegged and coupled to a pulsing synth bassline.
Obviously, this is pretty different to the space-age rockabilly where Stella usually lends her voice, but she steps into the world of Jupiter’s Basement with a cool calm. She brings some icy edge to the breast-beating vocal given by Jupiter’s Basement himself. The song is imaginative in how it uses vocal harmonies and builds up the busy mix to feel powerful and dense, but never to overwhelm the song or, indeed, the listener. I tried to unravel the songs lyrics but they remained opaque to me, so all I can do is leave the song’s meaning as a puzzle for you, dear reader, to wrestle with. They may, or may not refer to the Covid Crisis, but the interpretation is yours to enjoy. Well, this is a propulsive, energetic, slab of music which shows that perhaps Covid Crisis Collaborations will provide us all with some interesting music brought about by unusual and unexpected creative cross-pollination. You can listen to “Face!” on Jupiter’s Basement Facebook page and via Spotify and iTunes.
By: Dan Bramhall