We’ve written about Spartan Jet-Plex several times, often waxing lyrical about Nancy Kells’s dreamy bedroom pop. Released last week, the latest Spartan Jet-Plex EP, All the World, sees Kells continue to make pop music of the dreamy, heartfelt and surreal variety. And, as everything was written, recorded and produced by Kells in her living room, the continuation extends to the general aesthetic too, possessing all the home-crafted charm of previous releases.
The EP opens with ‘All the World pt 1’, a morose and understated introduction to the world of Spartan Jet-Plex for the uninitiated, little more than a repetitive piano and Kells’s indistinguishable vocals. The second part of the track adds minimal beats and proper vocals, layered on top of one another to give things a dreamlike quality.
“And all the world, looks back on us
and all the world falls back on us”
‘Progress Regress’ undulates in a hypnagogic shimmer, the layered vocals building into something that almost appears solid, in the same way the plains of clouds look like a landscape from thirty thousand feet. This sense of congregation continues on ‘Stand Up’, beginning with an audio recording from an anti-Trump demonstration (a theme continued from her last three EPs), the track is a testament to the power of unity, the importance and value of the many grouping together to become one loud voice. Closer ‘Limited Taste’ is less distinct, bouncing around like an echo, wordless vocals seemingly emanating from all directions, creating something that’s as spooky as it is beguiling, though again conjuring a sense of power within a community of voices.
All the World sees Spartan Jet-Plex continue doing what they do best, Kells undoubtedly one of the most prolific and distinctive songwriters out there right now. Her skill lies in the ability to transport us to another dimension, part digital landscape, part strange dreamworld, a place that ripples at its edges and nothing is quite as it seems.
You can get All the World now from the Spartan Jet-Plex Bandcamp page, including on limited edition lathe-cut vinyl with a complementary Friends For Equality zine. Speaking of which, the Friends For Equality movement has gone from strength to strength, with a second volume of the benefit compilation now available. At a minimum price of $10 for fifty (!) songs, with all proceeds going to human rights and civil liberty organisations, it really is a win-win situation.