COLUMN: Jerkcurb’s “Air Con Eden” a great rediscovery


Ryan Meyer

Ryan Meyer, Columnist

A recent revisiting to a record I’ve only scratched the surface with has been the soundtrack playing for me the past couple of days for me. Jerkcurb’s jazzy, dreamy “Air Con Eden” resides in a place that is both relaxing and musically intricate.

As usual, it’s all about the guitar work for me, and Jacob Read, who performs as the stage name Jerkcurb, does not disappoint in the slightest.

The title track kicks off with the slinkiest of 1980s guitar chords and the vocals in the chorus are irresistible ear candy. When Read sings “I love the sound of my footsteps on the floor here,” there’s a progression of some chords played higher up on the neck of his guitar that is probably my favorite moment on the record.

Moments later, he sings of his desire to be in purgatory and does so over a chorus so beautiful in its harmonies that it makes heaven’s waiting room sound pretty damn inviting.

“Shadowshow” has an extended introduction that kicks off the record effectively, demonstrating the pure guitar bliss to come. The drums, whether programmed or organic, sound great.

“Air Con Eden” isn’t dream pop, and that’s a good thing. Some of Read’s chord choices are too dissonant or too jazz-based to fall into a genre known for its melodies. That’s not to say there’s no melody, obviously. There’s plenty of it. The glistening production makes the guitars shine and Read’s unwavering voice doesn’t dominate or rely on the instrumentation for support.

There’s no way these songs are more than 10 beats per minute away from each other, and that’s perfectly O.K. “Air Con Eden” is not in any sort of need for a rip-roaring anthem or clear lead single. Each song plays its own part within the work of art that is an album, something I cherish when I have the time to sit down and consume it all at once.

A good album cover never hurt anybody, and “Air Con Eden” definitely provides the reason for me seeing pinks and blues in the sound. It’s one of those things that can’t really be explained.

The beauty of this record lies not in flashiness, but rather songcraft surprisingly mature for a debut record. There aren’t many overdriven guitar solos, instead the songs rely on complimentary chord progressions played in a way that separates Jerkcurb from the popular indie rock guitar sounds popularized by Mac DeMarco and the like.

“Air Con Eden” is my favorite thing I’ve been listening to lately, and I eagerly await the next Jerkcurb record.

Ryan Meyer is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 581-2812.