I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering Ohio-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer and electronic music artist John Jagos. Best known as the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed JOVM mainstay act Brothertiger, Jagos started the project while he was studying at Ohio State University — and since then Jagos has released a handful of critically applauded EPs including Vision Tunnels, Out of Touch and last year’s A Chain of Islands EP and three albums 2012’s Golden Years, 2013’s Future Splendor and 2015’s Out of Touch. Each of those releases helped established the project’s sound, a sound that seems indebted to Tears for Fears, St. Lucia, Washed Out and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy.
Released last Friday, Paradise Lost is Jagos’ first full-length album of original material in five yeas. “This record was, for me, the culmination of a lot of time and development,” the JOVM mainstay says in press notes. “Since my last album was released 5 years ago, I had been building on top of that sound, trying to make it even more dynamic and distinct. This record is also my most personal, and I think that shows not only in the subject matter, but in the choice of sounds as well. I find that in electronic music, you can capture an emotion honestly with synthesized sound, not just with lyrics.”
Sonically speaking, the album reportedly finds Jagos expanding upon the sound that has won him critical applause — with the album ranging from hook-driven indie pop to club-banging electronica centered around the Ohio-born, Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstay’s plaintive vocals singing lyrics that thematically touch upon aging gracefully, longing for purpose and celebrating life’s simple pleasures among others. I’ve written about two of the album’s previously released singles, Washed Out-like “Livin‘,” which thematically focused on comforting the weirdness and uncertainty of life as you age — and “Shelter Cove,” a bracingly chilly track that evokes dipping into colder than expected water for the first time.
Paradise Lost’s third and latest single is the atmospheric and cinematic album title track “Paradise Lost.” Centered around glistening synth arpeggios, stuttering beats, Jagos’ plaintive vocals and a soaring hook, the song sounds — to my ears, at least — as though it would fit in a scene in which the protagonist reminisces about a beautiful moment with a loved one, that they may never get back, while continuing a run of bracingly chilly material.