Since their formation in 2014, the Helsinki, Finland-based JOVM mainstays Lake Jons, comprised of Jooel Jons and Mikko Pennanen have managed to walk a fine line between production tandem and full-fledged band, while crafting delicate, electro folk-leaning dream pop. Last year’s self-titled debut, which was released to praise across Scandinavia and elsewhere was written and recorded in an isolated cabin, deep within the Finnish forest thematically and sonically aimed to examine, capture, and represent the tenuous connection that still exists between the natural world and the human world. Building upon a growing profile, JaJaJa showcased the band in London, Berlin and Hamburg.
Lake Jons’ recently released sophomore album The Coast finds the duo further reconnecting with their roots and delving even deeper into the Towars Forest. Thematically, the album is the duo’s endeavor to dismantle life, space and time while sonically, the material finds the Finnish JOVM mainstays radically re-inventing their sound: The album’s songs are generally centered around very rough instrumental parts, then layered with harmony-driven toplines, creating the sense that the songs are assembling themselves in a seamless fashion.
So far I’ve written about two of the album’s previously released singles — “It’s Too Bright” and “Simone.” Both of those singles further cemented the duo’s unusual and forward-thinking approach to contemporary pop. “It’s Too Bright,” which was built around a sparse production of twinkling keys, shimmering hi-hats, boom-bap like beats, a driving bass line and Jooel Jons’ plaintive falsetto was a seamless meshing of elements of R&B, electro pop, jazz, folk and experimental pop while retaining the infectious hooks that won them attention across the blogosphere. “Simone” was centered around a hazy and dusty production of strummed guitar, fluttering and arpeggiated synths, wobbling low end and stuttering beats. And while continuing to be a perfect vehicle for Jons’ plaintive falsetto, the song was imbued with a sense of loss, longing and the acknowledgement that there are some connections that seem to transcend physical space and time itself.
“Human,” The Coast‘s latest single is a haunting and lingering fever dream, centered around a dusty and ancient-sounding production featuring strummed acoustic guitar, fluttering synths, thumping drums and Jons’ plaintive and expressive vocals. Unlike the album’s previously released singles, “Human” finds the Finnish JOVM mainstays walking a fine line between careful and deliberate craft and stream of consciousness — as it evokes a late fall stroll, lost in thoughts and reminiscences.
“I’m fond of lyrics that tare more like thoughts rather than stories,” Jooel Jons says about The Coast‘s latest single. “This one feels like a stroll in the forest for me. Almost a story but not quite. ‘I wanna turn around’ resembles the idea of turning back from the road we once started as humans. Honouring nature more and more. For me it also means dancing in the forest among the trees and animals like a hippie cliché. This song has evolved from two different songs that I felt were at a dead end. Combining them left some good parts unused but made one whole.”