Hailing from Newcastle, JKTS (pronounced Jackets) has released his latest single Vibrance, an ode to the modern wave of Aussie hip-hop. Rapper and self-producer, JKTS is fast securing himself as one to watch in this growing scene of alternative R&B along the east coast.
Vibrance in name and vibrant in sound, the latest single from Newcastle’s JKTS is a thrilling whirlpool of Aussie hip-hop, electronic beats, and contagious rhythms.
Opening with the strident and playful sounds of a xylophone, the tracks dynamic tune sits buoyantly along for the ride. The recipe for a hooky, upbeat rhythm is perfected with the titillating stutters of the hit-hat. With these two forces setting a tone of confidence, cool vocals disperse between.
JKTS has somehow reinvented the use of autotune. By subtly using an electronic filter, like a grade change rather than a microphone, he has managed to return autotune to its roots as a tool not a coverup. The production adds texture to an otherwise already gritty vocal display. He switches it up between rushes of staccato and breathy, open-mouthed sighs.
Similarly to the fellow rapper and musical influence Allday, JKTS find a foolproof balance of dreamy listenability and the sharp construction of spoken verse. However, unlike the straightforward crudeness of Allday, often speaking about alcohol, drugs and girls. JKTS lyrics are gentler. The mantra-like repetition of “Sunrise, let me find me way”, is hopeful. The abstract theme leaving space for the listener to project as they may.
Vibrance is the summery, brighter response to JKTS’ darker debut track Lost. It’s clear that his versatility as an artist is something of a drawcard amongst the rise of the genre. His talent as a producer is prevalent and keeps hip-hop as relevant and youthful as always.
Vibrance is just JKTS’ muscle flex before the fight.