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Music > Vinyl > Junior Boys - Big Black Coat (180g Vinyl LP)
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Junior Boys Big Black Coat

(180g Vinyl LP)

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Item: LDJ13246
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Junior Boys Big Black Coat on 180g LP + Download

Junior Boys return with Big Black Coat, their first album in almost five years and first for City Slang. A strikingly energized and intuitively dynamic set of songs, Big Black Coat is shaped by what Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus have been doing in the five years since their last release. The Hamilton, Ontario duo have racked up four albums since they formed in 1999, including their 2004 debut Last Exit and 2006's So This Is Goodbye, two rapturous – and rapturously received – records that were as poignant as they were impeccably produced, and prefigured the digital R&B so beloved of many an artist in the last few years. Two albums followed, the last being It's All True in 2011.

A renewed vigor surges through Big Black Coat. It's what carries its overall sharp mix of sounds. It's what encouraged the pair to strip their original "complicated" version of "Love Is A Fire" down to its compellingly looped bare bones and made Greenspan experiment with vocal treatments, as he does on the idiosyncratically Auto-Tuned "Over It." But it's the title track that sets the album's scene. "Big Black Coat" gradually warms and spreads light as it builds over seven minutes, nodding to Yellow Magic Orchestra and Plastikman as it goes. It also features a conceptually crucial percussion sound, made with a modular synth.

The previously released "What You Won't Do For Love" sees Junior Boys revising Bobby Caldwell's over-easy soul track from 1978, adding a subtle undercurrent of UK bass to what is only their second ever cover. Elsewhere, there's an acknowledgement of ESP's 1986 proto-house tune "It's You," which uses an ultra-rare Synton Fénix synth ("M + P") and a ballad that reignites Greenspan's love affair with the hushed, soulful pop of Prefab Sprout, 10cc and Scritti Politti, via contemporary R&B ("Baby Don't Hurt Me"). Detroit is a strong undercurrent flowing through the record too, with nods to heavyweights Robert Hood, Dan Bell and Richie Hawtin throughout.

Fusing disco and soul with the industrial pop and techno of Greenspan's formative teens is what makes Big Black Coat so distinctive and compelling. It's the sound of Junior Boys both cutting loose and reconnecting. As Greenspan sees it: "The fact that we haven't put out an album in a long time has been liberating, in that we haven't been so phenomenally successful that everyone knows who we are. With this album, a lot of people will be hearing us for the first time. There's a freedom that comes from that."

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1. You Say That
2. Over It
3. C'Mon Baby
4. Baby Give Up On It
5. M & P
6. No One's Business
7. What You Won't Do For Love
8. And It's Forever
9. Baby Don't Hurt Me
10. Love Is A Fire
11. Big Black Coat

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