words by Ethan Cardinal

The rising popularity of psychedelic rock brewing among growing Australian artist’s peaks at the inevitable rise of Tame Impala. And yet, while Jagwar Ma doesn’t necessarily depend on heavy distorted vocals and instruments, flashes of psychedelic reverberations intertwined with hints of electronic synths and soulful ambience, has projected the trio into a climbing rise within the Australian music circuit. With the popularity of their debut 2013 album ‘Howlin’, their sophomore album ‘Every Now & Then’ shifts slightly towards a blend of experimentation and exploration with different glimpses of inspiration trapped between the sonic layers that effectively comes across the ears of those listening. While it doesn’t have the over flow of psychedelic tendencies as ‘Howlin’ encapsulated, ‘Every Now & Then’ rides the momentum scintillated by hints of funk, soul, garage rock and techno manifests a quirky sound in itself all together, something that is saturates the sophomore album with richness in its variety.

As it opens with a short electronic instrumental in ‘Falling’, Jagwar Ma presents their new found dependency towards a layer of electronic sounds that they inject in different tracks throughout the album. However, before it becomes too much for listeners, it is straight onto their typical Jagwar Ma sound within ‘Say What You Feel’. Loaded with crisp production and narrative lyrics accompanied by their damn near perfect harmonies between all instruments used, it creates that divide from ‘Howlin’ within its slight introduction of the electronic hum evident within the first track but masquerades it within the wave of dulled down garage rock atmosphere until near the end of the song where Jagwar Ma makes it a point to solidify their electronic inclination. ‘Loose Ends’ indicates a first move away from the strong points of ‘Howlin’ with its horn-driven and bass loaded ambience. Jagwar Ma embodies a fresher sound within ‘Loose Ends’, something that projects a more confident, and self-assured in both its production and Winterfield’s vocals.

‘Give Me A Reason’ walks the fine line between their new found sound and their reliability on their nostalgic dependency towards beach rock and psychedelic contemporary influences. ‘Give Me A Reason’ is great in its ability to be light-hearted and its capability to provide such potent bass lines and electronically sound glimpses throughout the 7-minute track that it shows the slow but drastic metamorphosis of Jagwar Ma that looks towards the future rather than the past. With tracks such as ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Batter Up’, it enables Jagwar Ma to exploit newly discovered techno undercurrents within ‘O B 1’; the dauntless cynosure of ‘Every Now & Then’. Laced with a flood of electronic elements and high energy vocals coupled with rising percussion, ‘O B 1’ is the inescapable illustration of their garage experimentation that is loaded with diverse influences that enables this album to take on a life of its own, away from their well reviewed predecessor.

Following from their exploitation of new sound within ‘O B 1’, the following tracks, ‘Slipping’, ‘High Rotations’, ‘Don’t Make It Right’ and ‘Colours Of Paradise’ all revel in Jagwar Ma’s predilection towards 60’s soul infused techno inklings bounds the 11-track album together into one fluidly progressive experimentations that seem to take psychedelic rock into unknown territory. Jagwar Ma is fearless in their ability to take their sound to new territory, ‘Every Now & Then’ is the physical culmination that deviates away from the comfort of their first album and feast upon unexplored territories.

Rating: ★★★

‘Every Now & Then’ that available now through Marathon Artists.

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