Junior Boys: Big Black Coat | Virgin Media
Junior Boys: Big Black Coat

Junior Boys: Big Black CoatRating: ★★★★☆ | by Matthew Horton

05/02/2016

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A dozen years after debut album Last Exit, if anything Ontario's Junior Boys are getting better. It's been nearly half a decade since the excellent It's All True, but the template remains the same: warm-hearted electronic soul for the head and the dancefloor, topped with Jeremy Greenspan's soft, deep-pile vocal.

Greenspan and fellow Junior Boy Matt Didemus have no need to tamper with the formula, not when the ideas and songwriting are this strong. Big Black Coat is compelling throughout, as it switches between low-pulse electro and four-to-the-floor house, regularly within the same song. The title track – and single – alone morphs from a slow swagger to jittery techno to ambient, galactic synth phases, a remarkable send-off to a habitually absorbing album.

Before that, there are exercises in delayed gratification over the modular wobbles of You Say That and the zappy, intense Love Is A Fire, but they let go sometimes.

Junior Boys move your feet as they engage your mind

And It's Over revels in flip-flopping bleeps fighting to be heard over manic hi-hat taps, and M&P is deep house with a killer, floor-filling three-note synth riff. Baby Give Up On It jacks your body before sneaking in licks of funky guitar and a late acid freakout. Junior Boys move your feet as they engage your mind.

Junior Boys

They get into your headspace with Greenspan's tender lyrics, at once sensuous ("I dreamed of you again last night") on C'Mon Baby and ardent ("When I kiss you I'm on fire inside") on the otherwise gentle No One's Business. As ever, he sounds like Prefab Sprout's Paddy McAloon discovering whole new synth presets, funnelling perfect pop into dancefloor dynamics.

So that's what they've have always done, and they show no sign of abandoning ship. Junior Boys may never be a household name but, for the rest of us, long may they stay committed.

 

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