"They create a contemplative Pop, one that doesn't have to be scrutinized but probably should be."
Multi-instrumentalist Austin Smith, along with drummer Zach Alderman (Deep Cuts) and keyboardist/vocalist Vicki Lynn (Black Kite) produce sharp, minimal and often haunting pop songs. Their self-titled debut offers a dark danceable mix of booming rhythm, whammied guitar, and waves of synthesizers. This bedrock lay beneath the vocal melodies, delivering songs about dinner dating, small talk, terrible parties, and couch surfing. Smith and Lynn split efforts on synth, bass, and guitar, often harmonizing and looping instruments on-the-fly, locking into Alderman’s no-frills time-keeping. Smith, the group’s genre-hopping mastermind admits to a heavy diet of ABBA and Yaz records during the EP’s synthesis: “I originally wanted to make slow disco songs. I’d been a layer-heavy songwriter in the past and I wanted to experiment with limitation. Normally, I’d use anything at my disposal to ‘maximize’ room in a song, so for JERK I worked inside a set of rules where I couldn’t do that, which made the writing process way more of a challenge”. .