CD Review

Connan Mockasin – Jassbusters Album Review

Album: Jassbusters

Artist: Connan Mockasin

Genre: Alternative

Sub-Genres: Rock, Indie, Experimental, Jazz

Label: Kemado Records

Non-Airable Tracks: “Momo’s,”  “Last Night,” “You Can Do Anything,” “B’nD,” “Sexy Man,” and “Les Be Honest”

Description: Connan Mockasin is a New Zealand singer, famous for being quite peculiar in nature, especially through his music. From his album, “Forever Dolphin Love,” to “Caramel” and his most recent project “Jassbusters” his evolution through experimental rock and alternative base and soul, Connan Mockasin is hard to pinpoint. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this new album, but Jassbusters is his first album actually having a band behind his eerie vocals adding a more twangier and complete sound than much of his previous work.

The First track “Charlotte’s Thong,” is a nine minute long jam session, where as a listener I feel myself floating in and out of his vocal and soft rock guitar sequences. The second track “Momo’s” features the heart wrenching vocals of James Blake, and is by far one of my favorite tracks on the album. It’s slow moving but emotional and raw, far less obscure than much of what Connan usually incorporates with random acid-like rif sequences randomly throughout. “Con Conn was Impatient” was the first single released, and is one of the few tracks I hear the similar vocals Connan usually includes, sounding much like a kid who consistently has his voice cracking through puberty, but it’s weirdly enjoyable. Much of what he says is hard to understand articulately, but adds to the overflowing soft rock vibe the album continues with. “B’nD” adds an interesting monologue discussing getting bad grades except for in music and having to go to military school if it continues over a continuous jazz beat. At first, I was confused, but then came to find out that this album coincides with the film “Bostyn n’ Dobsyn,” a film about a music teacher and their student, which now makes this album’s entire calmness make sense.   With this being something that doesn’t take a lot of brain power to digest, and more of an overflowing background music to a film, it still remains a silky and melodic album for any occasion rather than just the score of a film. Compared to his previous albums Caramal and Forever Dolphin Love, I find myself less focused on the lyrical content and striking percussions, but rather being immersed in an oddly sexy and savory elevator-music type band jam. If you are familiar with his previous work there’s a lot less memorable moments on this album compared to Caramels “Im the Man that Will Find You,” or “Forever Dolphin Love.”  I miss the eccentric and weird Connan Mockasin I’m used to hearing, but for the context of it being made for a film I understand the intent and think it has a purpose in his discography thats far from disappointing.

Sounds Like: Mac Demarco, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ariel Pink

Recommended Tracks: 

  1. Charlotte’s Thong
  2. Momo’s
  3. Les Be Honest

Reviewer’s Name: Megan Yeates

Date of Review: 10/22/18

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