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Jarv Is – Depressive Disco Review

Consider a whole decade worth of music where listeners were told to relish the joy of the disco, and set it to one side. Jarv Is, who is all quiet now work on This Is Gonna Hurt is complete and Pulp reawaken, did offer up a sly little number which slipped on by. Pairing with a whole host of talented musicians to raise awareness for Earth Day, the Bandcamp release was all but lost before YouTube whirred into action and offered a recording. It calls back to the old days of pilfering through record stores trying to find Richard Hawley’s Kelham Island on a dusty 7”. It never happened here, but it is a variable in the endless possibilities which come from searching out new music, digital or physical. Depressive Disco is worth searching out for those who need another fix of post-Pulp Jarvis Cocker. 

Classic Jarv Is this is. Depressive Disco has the count-in of Swanky Modes and the strings of Save the Whale. It may as well be a bonus track, though its specifics maintain it as a true Earth Day project. Drowned out under a quick mix of instrumentals, Cocker is nearly unheard but the rise and counting is just about distinguishable under some neat guitar and string work. Studio chatter is cut in and out, a nice touch for a song with no sense of direction. Depressive Disco is an amalgamation of spontaneity though it leaves nothing wild or spirited in its wake. Twangs and strums here or there of various instruments, Cocker takes a backseat. Perhaps his collaboration with Ritton is all he had to say on environmental favours.  

Messy as anything but it does feel as though it was bundled together in time for a project with a short expiry date. It is hard to knock the intention, but it is easy to take a jab at the results. It is nothing spectacular, but considering the suddenly dormant nature of Jarv Is, it is nice to hear from them. Glastonbury 2022 song debuts seem a far stretch back in time now Pulp is back on. Focus has shifted away from this fascinating art pop project, and though Proceed to the Route and its likes may not be heard from for some time, it shall hopefully be a far stretch better than Depressive Disco. It is a tad depressing, a long-form instrumental with all the consistencies and quality of a wild-eyed panic in the recording studio. Mash this button, whack this fader here, that’ll do — time for lunch.  

Even the mega fans of Cocker will struggle to find much life in this one. Though it is always a pleasure to hear new movements from old hands, Depressive Disco does not find much life to it. An Earth Day project piece of a now-forgotten album which is, by all rights, difficult to come by. Fragments are all listeners can hope for, but this piece from Jarv Is will not set your ears on fire. There is little chance of excitement from the hallowed halls of frontman legend, though even with his brief inclusion, all Cocker can do is count to ten. He hits double digits, wanders off to make a cup of tea and leaves this brief and spotty jam session to his talented hires.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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