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FUTURE CALLING

Easy Jean
Easy Jean

EASY JEAN
‘I’M ALRIGHT

With its motorick beat and Kraftwerk synths, ‘I’m Alright’, the new single from Walyalup supergroup, Easy Jean, is something of a time capsule. When the world is rushing headlong towards oblivion, this track is the answer to the question, what’s the point of nostalgia? The emptiness the lack of ‘I’m Alright’ causes every time it ends is an echo of the richness of the track. The silence compels a repeat play, and with each successive listen, the past becomes the present and then the future.

Nostalgia is a con. There is no such thing. Only connection and lineage. Easy Jean know this, it’s why they’ve placed ‘I’m Alright’ in a direct line from classical European composers, through to Krautrock and onto the streets of Walyalup. The song has a proud pedigree but derivative it is not.

So, what is, ‘I’m Alright’, then? It’s 4:14 minutes of uneasy listening, crackling in on gamma radiation that took a thousand light years to reach our ears, evoking in lyricist, Andy Hill’s words, the latency of time, mind, power. The song exits on piercing, if somewhat restrained, feedback. It’s the restraint that makes ‘I’m Alright’ — from the down-at-heel vocals, with singers, Hill and Cheree Dobra, underscoring and misaligning rather than simply harmonising; to the pulsing, phase-shifted synths that sit just behind the beat encouraging a glance backwards while the mechanical drums tug us ever forwards. The more I listen to ‘I’m Alright’, the more it makes me smile, disturbs me, makes me lust for the impossibility of days gone by, and gives me a glimpse of the future.

In the art world, the truism is that, if you want to break the rules, you have to learn them first. Jackson Pollock painted portraits and landscapes before he moved on to paintings like ‘Blue Poles’. Like Pollock, Easy Jean have done their homework, which is not surprising when you consider that they consist of guest musicians of the calibre of Drew Wootton, Ricky Maymi and Grace Barbe (look them up), as well as core members, Hill and Dobra. And, like Pollock, Easy Jean’s store of learning gives them the right to break all the rules.

Having released their debut EP, Hard Feelings & Real Tears to some acclaim in 2021, ‘I’m Alright’ is the first in a series of releases Easy Jean have planned for 2024 and beyond (I hope). If this first single in the series is any indication, we are in for some rare treats. ‘I’m Alright’ is the future calling via the 1970s and it’s way better than just alright.

‘I’m Alright’ is released worldwide on 31 May. You can have a sneaky listen right now.

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