Jockstrap – I<3UQTINVU

· by Ann Pill

Jockstrap’s new album is 31 minutes of unbridled chaos. The “remix” album by the British electro-pop duo is almost unrecognizable from their 2022 album I Love You Jennifer B. Georgia Ellery is the vocalist and strings player with Taylor Skye as the producer of the crudely named group. 

On I<3UQTINVU, (I love you cutie I envy you), Taylor Skye had a full year to make their debut album as weird and distorted as possible—and he took full advantage of the time. It’s almost a disservice to call this a remix album. The album stands alone as an independent project. It’s a little treasure hunt trying to figure out the origin of each renamed track entirely different than the original. 

Despite this being Skye’s vision, Georgia Ellery is all over the album with her hauntingly beautiful vocals and string arrangements. But this time it’s layered over glitchy dubstep. Some of the songs on the new album are more recognizable than others. “Jennifer B,” the title track from their 2022 album, has evolved into the epic club banger “Good Girl.”
 

“Glasgow” however remained relatively untouched in “I Touch.” Each song brings elements of a completely different genre with it. It oscillates so quickly from exciting and intense to deeply melancholic. During the opening track “Sexy,” featuring Babymorocco, one experiences that full circle within the same song. Such an initially upbeat fun tune ends oddly self-reflective. 

You don’t have time to ponder what exactly happened before you’re plunged into “Concrete Over Water,” reimagined as “All roads lead to London” with Coby Sey and ERSATZ features. “When in Rome, anything goes,” as it says and it’s evident Skye agrees. It would feel like a disrespectful bastardized version of the original if it wasn’t so earnest. 

Songs “Red Eye” and, “I Notice You” bring simultaneously dark but fun energy that you wouldn’t even know was missing from I Love You Jennifer B. The album ends with the Joni Mitchell-esque track, “Sexy 2.” The dichotomy of Ellery and Skye is most noticeable here. You remember just how deeply talented Ellery is and just how much Skye had to chop everything up and piece it back together to create a mutation of their previous album. 

The two met at London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Their work breaks all the rules of music in a way that only someone with the deepest understanding of those rules could do. Not unlike Ellery’s work as a founding member of Black Country New Road. 

In many ways, Skye attacked what they created with I Love You Jennifer B with no fear of imperfection making a grittier rawer iteration of their orchestral pop masterpiece. In others, it feels like someone reeling him back a little bit would have made the whole album a bit more cohesive. 

This album is more than just a morsel to tide Jockstrap fans over until their next album. It’s a completely new creation. If I<3UQTINVU, is evidence of the direction the duo is going, the next album is just going to get weirder. Whether you like it or not.  

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