Much of today’s musical release climate is permeated by a steady influx of gigantic marketing campaigns behind singles, the occasional EP, and everything in between. Sadly, the disappearance of countless independent labels over the past 15 or so years has left this writer’s favorite release format, the long player, as somewhat of a novelty and a major gamble for smaller artists not signed to a major. So when one of our favorite rising sons of synth; indie-pop architect, Lincoln Jesser, announced the impending release of a debut LP, Modern Color, we were all ears on deck. To see such quality and a clear conceptual path put forth into an album format in 2014 without the backing of at least some type of indie is refreshing to say the least. Bending a bevy of electronic pop buoyed with a slick indie sensibility has been the auditory bait for more than a few of us Ninjas, as Jesser has become a regular amongst the pages of TMN over the past year through singles like “We’ll Be Fine”, “Wicked Son”, “Untold” (both of which can be found on Modern Color), “After_Love” and he’s put together quite the diverse, but focused collection of tunes to create his debut album.
Kicking off with an atmospheric, saccharine slice of indie-pop on “We’ll Be Fine”, Modern Color quickly highlights its superlative attributes through its opening tune: hooky, modulated synth lines and Jesser’s penetrating incantations. While “We’ll Be Fine”, a pop song in pure form, paces the LP; much of Jesser’s musical perspective on this one comes in the form of slower burning fragments. Tracks like “Untold”, and “Supertouch” provide an insightful glimpse into Jesser’s more emotive musical outlook on which Modern Color’s most poignant moments take place. But without the LP’s poppy respites on cuts like “Tops” & “Certainty” -which both dip into club-house territory along a flowing four-four kick and minimal electro house vibrations- and “Wicked Son”; those moments don’t feel like they’d come across as impactful. Modern Color closes its doors on the heels of two previously unreleased tunes, “Rolling Stones” and “Time Apart”; and both are an incredible close to a very worthy debut entry into the album form from Lincoln Jesser.
Modern Color is out now digitally and can be purchased on the cheap through iTunes, and for such a well thought out LP inauguration, we think it’s completely worth the squeeze. Stream Lincoln Jesser’s Modern Color below in its entirety