Tag: Ohio State University

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Brothertiger Releases an Achingly Sad Visual for Shimmering “Livin'”

John Jagos is an Ohio-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and electronic music producer, best known as the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed, JOVM mainstay act Brothertiger. Since he started the act as a sophomore at  Ohio State University, Jagos has released a handful of EPs including his critically applauded debut Vision Tunnels EP and  Out of Touch, which featured  “Out of Touch” and “Beyond The Infinite,” and last year’s A Chain of Islands EP, as well as three full-length albums 2012’s Golden Years, 2013’s Future Splendors and 2015’s Out of Touch. Each of those efforts helped to establish Jagos sound — a sound influenced by Tears for Fears,  St. Lucia, Washed Out and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy.

Jagos has also released a Tears for Fears cover album, 2017’s Brothertiger Plays: Tears for Fears’ Songs from The Big Chair and a collection of instrumental material, Fundamentals, Vol. 1. Slated for a September 11, 2020 release, Jagos forthcoming Brothertiger effort Paradise is his first full-length album of original material in five years. “This record was, for me, the culmination of a lot of time and development,” Jagos 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, Paradise Lost reportedly finds Jagos expanding upon the sound that has won him critical applause with the material ranging from hook-driven indie pop to club-thumping electronica centered around the JOVM mainstay’s plaintive vocals singing lyrics that thematically touch upon aging, longing for purpose and celebrating life’s simple pleasures among others. Paradise Lost’s first single is the the ethereal and atmospheric “Livin’.” Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering beats, a soaring hook and Jagos plaintive vocals, “Livin'” manages to recall Within and Without and Paracosm-era Washed Out — but at its core, the song expresses a familiar crisis to many of us: confronting the weirdness and uncertainty of life as you get older. 

Directed by Trevor Naud and made during COVID-19 quarantines, the recently released video employs digital and analog technologies as it follows a planetary rover as it lands on a planet teeming with life. Adding to the trippy vibes of the video, we follow things from the prospective of the rover: dispassionate yet curious until the rover has a major malfunction and essentially dies. 

“What if a planetary rover–destined to land on a dead planet–accidentally lands on a planet teeming with life?” Naud says of the video’s concept. “I wanted to keep everything very tight and almost impressionistic, where we see what’s happening inside of the rover’s “brain” interspersed with what it’s recording, and then juxtaposed with very high-definition nature show footage. Maintaining a jarring contrast between those worlds. Then, eventually, there’s a malfunction and the magnetic tape comes unwound.

We used all kinds of crazy filming techniques–from VHS to Cinema-grade digital, a semi-functional 1977 Commodore computer, a weirdo rig that allowed us to film with a lens rolling across the ground, and we snuck onto a closed freeway for the final shot.

What I like is that there’s an implied sadness to the rover. By the end of the video, you may feel something for it.”

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If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months, you may recall that I’ve written about Brothertiger, the solo recording project of Brooklyn-based electronic musician and producer John Jagos. The project can trace its origins to when Jagos was a sophomore at Ohio State University. His debut EP, Vision Tunnels was released to critical praise from No Fear of Pop and Pitchfork. Building upon the early buzz he received, Jagos wrote and recorded his debut full-length Golden Years, which was released through Mush Records in 2012.

Future Splendors, the follow-up effort to Golden Years was a change in sonic direction as the material was reportedly his darkest and moodiest effort to date — and it was his first effort that he supported with a tour. Lagos’ forthcoming third, full-length effort Out of Touch is slated for a December 4 release and with the release of the album’s first single, album title track “Out of Touch” and its latest single “Beyond The Infinite,” Jagos is set to firmly put himself on the national map for an 80s synth-pop based sound that channels the likes of Tears for Fears as well as, contemporary artists such as St. Lucia and Washed Out.

In particular, “Beyond The Infinite” consists of layers of propulsive and cascading synths paired with four-on-the-floor drumming and rousingly anthemic hooks with soulful vocals in a song that’s plaintive yet remarkably cinematic. Much like the album’s previous single “Out of Touch,” the album’s latest single is informed by the Jagos’ desire to create an auditory journey through a metaphorical jungle of emotional states — tribulation, despair, fatigue, serenity, joy, tranquility, etc. In this case, the song focuses on the sensation of making a connection with someone and discovering that person has been deceitful and has betrayed you. And as a result, at the core of such a breezy, pop confection is the sort of heartache that should feel profoundly familiar.