For those familiar with the warm, lo-fi electronic sounds of Byron Bay’s Tora, the new single Can’t Complain from the band’s lead singer JPL will be wonderfully welcome news.
It’s a sign of more to come from the talented Jo Loewenthal, and it certainly bodes well for whatever other tricks he has up his sleeves.
JPL, the solo project of Tora’s Jo Loewenthal, has hit the ground running with the lovely new single Can’t Complain from an upcoming body of work.
“The song started out with just the Juno synth which you can hear in the intro and throughout the song. From there I layered guitar and drums which gave me the main foundations to sing over, and the melody just came naturally… this song came together quickly and effortlessly.”
Can’t Complain flexes a sound which is unique and distinctive of Loewenthal’s more personalised and intimate writing style while echoing the smooth melancholic tones expected of the timeless Tora sound. For Loewenthal, JPL has been a kind of temporary musical departure from the band’s more collective writing style.
“At the time I was in London on a writing trip and was taking a break creatively from TORA at that point, so I went in with the intention of writing for JPL. I wrote a whole bunch of JPL songs during that same period.”
Can’t Complain takes a range of simple and direct measures to connect with the listener, going for a variety of cleverly written vocal, synth and percussive layers which have been carefully placed across the track’s minimalist soundscape.
What we get is a much more distinguished work, allowing the listener to slowly digest and analyse each distinctive element of the track, just as JPL had aimed for with this project. As a result, the listener is gifted with a far deeper appreciation for the bittersweet somber vocals of Loewenthal. His expansive range takes you across brilliant highs and lows in a space which seems like a tribute to happy times brandished with a delicate touch of nostalgic melancholy.
The track wasn’t made to stand alone, either. For Loewenthal, Can’t Complain is a signifier of more work to come.
“Can’t Complain just felt like the right song to lead with because it’s quite chilled and not too intrusive. I wanted to ease into the release cycle and give people time to digest the sound, so this song seems to fit well as a mood setter.”
The tunes Loewenthal created in those initial JPL sessions are due to be released as an EP, a little down the line from now. As of yet there’s no title or release date to share, but we do know that it will represent some of the artist’s most untethered work yet.
“I started some of the ideas with friends, but I produced, mixed and mastered the EP alone, so it’s some of my most creatively free work to date. I find it difficult to describe the music itself, but there are sounds in there that I have never been able to create before now.”
Can’t Complain is the first release off JPL’s upcoming EP which will feature four new songs as well as a stripped-back version of the title track. If you’re a fan of the musical mastery of Tora and equally as pleased with the bittersweet sounds of JPL, then the EP is certainly a release to start geeing up for.
Can’t Complain is out October 18th.