♫♪  Jan Julius - ENDLONE

I spent a couple days in Portland last spring, riding the electric streetcar from my hotel to the Oregon Convention Center to any of the bookstores that public transportation could reach. From the window of the monorail system, my view was a wet smear of colors that were very familiar, but had never felt so vibrant to me in the past: crisp navy blues, forest greens, and overcast greys. Neutral colors were primary there.

ENDLONE, the sophomore EP by Portland’s Jan Julius, blends seamlessly into the city’s urban/sylvan colorscape. Using percussion prudently, Julius brews R&B synth arrangements that gurgle and pop like the insides of a body at rest, post-dinner. Aurally, the four-song record sinks into the recliner, processing its sleep-inducing tryptophan as it feels the seat give way to its shape. Lyrically, ENDLONE is imbued with the sort of Id-rousing surreality that generally keeps one from sleeping at night. As the sum of its parts, it’s a woozy post-pop release that embraces the vaporous immediacy of mall-core electronic acts like Terror Jr. while firmly entrenching itself in the Lynchian trap fantasies of Dean Blunt and Yung Lean.

This ethos is best realized in the closing track, “God Light.” Here, Julius’s oddly conversational pleas to the divine echo into the endlessly dark atmosphere as a more earthbound alter-ego recounts past plans to explore the city’s night life in present tense.

*in an autotuned yawp*: “I feel at my center/ A void that has left me alone

*half-spoken, half-sung*: “Michelle says come out tonight/ OK, I’m down”

“Knives” is the darkest and most re-playable of the four songs here. A slowed-down footwork rhythm carries oozing keyboard pads that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Julee Cruise record, detailing anxiety in visceral detail. When the chorus hits, it hits hard: “When the knives come out, when the knives come out,” chants Julius through gritted teeth. I imagine anthropomorphic blades rushing headlong into a dimly-lit smoke-filled room, ready for a scuffle. They have leather jackets and smoke candy cigarettes, and I’d rather not mess with ‘em.

ENDLONE’s a refined, overall improvement over March’s Death for Julius EP, buffing out lo-fi scratches in favor of ectoplasmic future-trap production. Peep Jan Julius’s discography here, and stream the new record below.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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