Jagwar Ma have reaffirmed their universal appeal with Every Now and Then, a spellbinding record that blends a number of different sounds and gets the mixture just right.
The Australian trio had a lot to live up to before their debut album was even released, with Noel Gallagher stating the “future of the galaxy” hinged on the band delivering something special. The boys from Sydney certainly delivered, releasing an album full to the brim with pre-party rammers that appealed to the masses. In their expert fusing of electronic and guitar music, the band found their niche, particularly among my friendship groups eclectic music tastes. Tunes like The Throw and Uncertainty bridged the schism between Britpop lovers and house connoisseurs alike.
However, amidst every replay of Howlin’ there lingered a seemingly insatiable desire for more. Countless times have we seen bands fail to maintain and develop the elements of a debut album that make it so good.
And yet, with Every Now & Then, Jagwar Ma have satisfied our hunger for acid house beats and melodious indie anthems in a way that only they could hope to achieve. With the brilliant Say What You Feel, the boys stake their claim as festival headliners. Winterfield croons “Pride has no place in this room” over a driving bassline that James Murphy would be proud of, before the track seemingly breaks down into Ninetoes’ house belter Finder and setting the tone for the rest of the record.
The highlight of the album for me, however, follows. Loose Ends‘ swaying, leisurely groove is completely mesmeric, and Jono Ma has created one of the most atmospheric electronic anthems in recent memory. Winterfield lets you know: “This ride/ feels right together.” The last 60 seconds of the tune take you into another realm of heavy synths and dirty basslines. Give Me a Reason picks you back up and drops you off in “The Amoeba” a mad instructional dance that’s probably not far off how most people have been swaying along in the first place.
In between sounding like the lovechild of Let Her Go and What Love and Winterfield telling us he is the man we need, Ordinary harks back to Howlin’ both in style and substance. It’s difficult to pick out “other highlights” of Every Now and Then, but Batter Up’s swirling synths and the house hitter Colours of Paradise, stand out.
Overall, Jagwar Ma have produced a spectacular, dazzling record that is sure to enthral lovers of several genres. In developing a winning formula, the Sydney trio have saved whatever galaxy Noel lives on (and the record belongs to) twice over.