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Morning Ritual is very pleased to announce the release of a double EP from Chicago based J Fernandez.
The EPs, No Luck and Olympic Village, originally released as long sold out cassettes via Chicago based tape labels Teen River and Pretty All Right will see a much-deserved full release this autumn. Recorded at J Fernandez’s apartment in the Humboldt Park Neighborhood of Chicago, the collection of tracks sees him playing almost every instrument heard on the record.
Recorded during the sweltering summer of 2012, the synths alternately melt like wax or radiate heat themselves, with woozy combo organs pulsing against steady, familiar drum beats and complementary guitar lines. It’s warped and distorted but melodically consonant, hypnotically droning but rooted in deep grooves. Echoes from the rich history of smart pop rise up, from The Byrds to Stereolab, but Fernandez’s songwriting treatment is his own.
Fernandez is in the process of putting together a band to break the project free of his home studio, and we should expect a proper studio release in 2013. Until then, enjoy No Luck and Olympic Village—there’s plenty here to keep you engaged.
“This song has been hiding behind the curtains in my room, or under the bed skirt. I heard it once months ago, and the simple but heavy motion floored me. I tucked it away for safe keeping and it disappeared. Thankfully, despite the Chicago songwriter’s absolutely un-searchable name, it came out of hiding along with his other stunning work. Amazing recordings - required listening”
"J Fernandez has never played his songs live in public. In fact, the only place that has seen him perform is the inside of his own apartment, in the Humboldt Park neighbourhood of Chicago. There’s nothing about this that doesn’t sound quaint, and that quaintness manifests itself in shy, blissful, self-contained melodies in his recordings. With a laid-back-show-tune-ish vibe reminiscent of the layered, harmonious vocals of Grizzly Bear, J Fernandez enchants and educates his listener, elevating his wistful voice beyond his bedroom walls with an insistent and exhaustive catalogue of shimmering, swooning percussion and brass."
"No Luck is a mellow, mournful track, highlighting enigmatic Chicago-based bedroom pop artist JFernandez' falsetto and culminating in a minimal sax solo."
"The “Fall in love” refrain in J Fernandez's "Real Flowers" is truly ominous, but creepy lyrics when buried inside a bedroom recording as beautifully constructed as this are needed to stop things getting too cozy. The analog synth coaxes the dark taint along further, off-key notes breaking the comforting, hazier bed this track rests upon. This is why I love "Real Flowers"—not everything has to exist in the land of twee and sparkly joy just because it’s not punk or noise. This song would be the perfect soundtrack to the closing scene of a slasher movie as the camera ever so slowly zooms out upon a tableau of a newly slain couple with real flowers scattered amongst their pallid, youthful limbs, blood trickling from their artfully placed stab wounds. Forever in love in death."
"Chicago based J Fernandez makes perfect dream pop music and no more is this evident than in his latest release 'Real Flowers'. With a nod to Beach House and Mount Eerie, Fernandez proves bedroom music can be more than just chillwave."
No Fear Of Pop
"a satisfying pop-document, balancing melody and songwriting with aesthetic. I want to highlight this quality, because it seems so rare."
"While you're awaiting the new Grizzly Bear album, give this guy a spin..."
Drowned In Sound, Editor's Weekend Listening
“This sounds great”
Jen Long, BBC Radio 1
Release/catalogue number: MRR003
Release date: Oct 29, 2012