New York’s JEAN is a singer and songwriter who creates his work from the ground up. His independently released debut album features 11 tracks written, produced, and sung by JEAN himself. Time Capsule is a body of work over ten years in the making, inspired by and dedicated to those most impactful on his life. First and foremost, this includes JEAN’s beloved late mother, who’s middle name he took in her honor. Jean has released two successful singles Another Year” and “Chasing a Ghost”, also collaborating on “ Motion In Time” with upcoming female artists Melloe D and Tulypz, Jean finally releases his first debut LP Time Capsule. As the title indicates, Time Capsule is a collection of past moments and listening to each track feels like sifting through a shoebox of polaroids or reading through a lost diary. Throughout the album, an imagined experience of traveling through memories is evoked through the utilization of layered, harmonized vocals, atmospheric synths, and experimental guitar riffs played in reverse. At the same time, Time Capsule is able to feel unassuming and approachable with danceable beats, smooth transitions, and catchy hooks. JEAN couples this unique indie rock sound with potent lyrics in which he speaks poetically yet unflinchingly about his emotionally lowest moments and his journey towards feeling hopeful about life again. “I want my music to comfort others whether they’re happy or sad and let them feel whatever it is they need to feel at that moment.” JEAN cites his musical influences to include artists who he feels have done this well including Death Cab for Cutie, Coldplay, and Now, Now. The effect of Time Capsule is a product of JEAN’s lifelong love of songwriting and feels expressly intimate and moving.
Time Capsule is essentially a concept album, the themes and instrumentation blend together perfectly.The first track Black Holes we hear the cassette tape click and it takes us on a journey. It starts off as a melodic soft synth ambient build up. This interlude really took me to another place it is almost dream like. Towards the end of the song it smoothly transitions to a more upbeat 80’s esque song “Paradox” This song has a sense of spirituality talking about how life can be over in a moment and feeling disconnected from life. Reflecting on existence. A paradox of denial and struggling to accept the reality of life. We hear the vocals more brought out and finally get to hear Jean’s soothing vocals. This synth driven song is very relaxing and the lyrics are really jarring at the heart strings. The next song Chasing A Ghost is a more chill indie rock vibe. The vocal harmonies are really nice on this track. The bass line is clean and punchy. In the chorus the clean guitars mixed with light distorted fuzz make for another ambient song. Another Year starts off with a simple piano riff followed by a kick drum and more spacey synths making for another relaxing vibe. This all builds up for more indie rock driven guitars. The whole song slows down and gets very ambient and then speeds up again. The energy of this song is incredible. The familiar piano riff repeats as it transitions into When We Land. I can definitely hear Jean’s influences in this song as he sings “transcending space and time” reminiscent of Death Cab For Cutie. This song is about meeting each other again in the afterlife when we land. Anymore/ A Letter To You starts off with a catchy acoustic guitar riff almost ukelele sounding. Jean sings how he doesn’t want to go out anymore and doesn’t want to go dancing at night. He wanted to go back to the days where his mom is alive. This song he has a spoken word where he really opens up about being suicidal in the past. He says he’s glad he didn’t end his life and wants his listeners to know that everything will be okay and that they aren’t alone. This song is so comforting and beautiful. It’s one of my favorites on the album. We then get to Windows which is another killer indie rock anthem with a catchy chorus and airy guitar riffs. Then we get to the song Mirage. I think this is an another song where it’s clear to see another one of Jean’s influences Coldplay with its emotionally moving atmosphere that pulls the listener in. The melodies in this song where he sings “I can’t stop running towards you” and “I can’t stop running from you” another contradictory image and real story telling. Jean makes us realize healing isn’t always in black and white that we feel so many different conflicting emotions when we are grieving. In the next track, From The Road it tells a story of driving around traveling, trying to clear his mind of all the chaos around. A very familiar feeling we can all relate to. Once again the transitions in this song are super smooth. It goes from being upbeat to slowing down so effortlessly. I really love when it slows down around 3:20 and it’s just Jean’s vocals and piano chords. The emotional control of his voice you can almost feel it. He still sings of being disconnected but is starting to accept the reality of things. Gravity starts off slower and it’s another song where it really picks up the pace especially towards the end into beautiful chaos. I love how the vocals and instruments from the interlude are weaved into this song. The last track Fool’s Gold is a very powerful track to close out the album. Again we have really intimate lyrics paired with the mellow vibes that builds up for the chorus. To me this song was a more hopeful message. He’s starting to believe in having a future again and learning to love again. This also felt like it took us somewhere along the journey in Jean’s time capsule. The spacey ambient guitars really gets us lost in this track in the best way.
You can follow JEAN on social media @jeantheanomaly and purchase his album on bandcamp