JR JR, “NYC,” letters for daysss

I hope you like alphabet soup, because Thursday breakfast is packed with acronyms! Detroit-based duo JR JR (previously Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.) don’t just like to put letters together, however. They’re quite skilled at grafting together genres, as well. Taken from their forthcoming double-album release, “NYC” is folksy indie pop with a bit of hip-hop and classic soul. The underlying beat has a real hip-hop vibe, swirling synths are the quintessential indie pop ingredient, and constant lively vocal harmonies are reminiscent of old school soul music or surf rock. It’s no wonder these guys are former Warner musicians, although I can see why major label life might not suite their homegrown, humble sound. Nevertheless, JR JR has serious skill, and “NYC” is feel-good indie pop that hits all of its marks and is rounded off with plentiful individuality.


With an ear for Brian Wilson-esque harmony, JR JR swirl indie pop, folk, and electronic elements into one breezy package. Originally named Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. with typical irreverence, the duo of Joshua Epstein (also of the Silent Years) and Daniel Zott came together in Detroit in 2009. Working out of a basement studio, the pair worked to create a sound that was danceable without sacrificing anything in the songwriting department, merging intricate and airy melodies with solid programmed beats and synth atmospherics. The band has released 3 albums to date, and their double-album Invocations / Conversations is due out May 31st.





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