ALBUM REVIEW: Jep and Dep – Word Got Out

Rating8a0668997781_10Writing and recording widescreen and cinematic music, where mood and atmosphere is paramount, and conveying it with minimal instrumentation shows both great restraint and ambition. That is exactly the musical world that Jessica Cassar and Darren Cross (Gerling) have created on their debut album Word Got Out.

The cover image of the pair stepping out of darkness and into an unknown light sums up the approach they’ve taken both artistically and aesthetically, from the black & white artwork to the rich noir romanticism in their songs that reads like a Wim Wenders tale of lovers entwined or one of Jim Jarmusch’s alternative realities.

The core of the album rides on Cross’ acoustic guitar and the duo’s voices that complement each other so wonderfully well. These aren’t just sweet duets, they speak of doomed relationships, dark corners and emotional shadows and Cassar’s voice negotiates those different moods with great versatility, swinging from a folk coo (‘My Man’) to an anguished and impassioned plea (‘Bobby’) or the gently soaring melancholia on ‘Wake Up Call’. Cross almost plays a supporting role, an echo or a counterpoint, a conversational partner or a sparring one. He delivers his words in a weary tone with a similar happy/sad quality to that of the masterful Townes Van Zandt.

There is drama aplenty in these songs yet they never shy away from a hook. ‘Babe Come Down’ buries itself in your short term memory with its catchiness, second single ‘Granted’ swirls and billows on a bed of stirring strings while ‘Bobby’ could be a lost Motown single by The Supremes in a parallel monochrome universe. ‘Tears In The Rain’ possesses the brilliant central line “You can’t hide your tears in the rain” which comes over like a gothic Lee and Nancy or Cave and Minogue if they were able to kick back and write songs together without the veil of celebrity killing the party.

Ten songs in thirty minutes and nothing outstays its welcome. This is an album built on the back of well-written songs and arranged, sung and played with an eye for detail and the concise deployment of subtle theatricality. It conveys emotion, transports the listener and creates captivating vignettes that pull you in deeper and deeper on each listen.

Chris Familton

Buy Word Got Out via Bandcamp

 

NEWS: Jep and Dep announce debut album, tour and new single

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Sydney duo Jep and Dep have had quite the year beginning with an opening slot before Johnny Marr before going on to play shows with Matt Walker, Mia Dyson, Hatz Fitz and Cara, Kristen Hersh, Raised by Eagles, Tracey McNeil Band and Lindi Ortega as well as their own headline gigs across nearly every reputable venue in Sydney and other parts of the country.

Over at our Americana blog Post To Wire we said of the pair:

They’re a dark, folk-noir Johnny and June with a sound that might cast them serenading a saloon in a David Lynch directed spaghetti western.

Their first single was the mesmerising ‘Babe Come Down’ and now, ahead of the release of their debut LP Word Got Out on October 23rd, they’ve released the clip for new single ‘Granted’. The song is another gem, building swirling  romantic tension akin to Cave and Minogue before rich widescreen strings and cymbals swoon into view with grand elegance.

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