Following widespread critical acclaim for their debut album Yes I Jan upon its release in February and subsequent appearances at festivals this summer including Green Man and End of the Road, London experimental post-punk trio Bas Jan return with the Instant Nostalgia EP. Set for release on November 23, 2018 on 10” vinyl and digital download, it’s another smart, refreshing, surprising and laugh-out-loud funny set of joyously unvarnished songs in the extraordinary and distinctive idiom of multi-instrumentalist and composer Serafina Steer.
Instant Nostalgia captures the evolution of Bas Jan since Yes I Jan. The lyrics are again by Steer with songwriting contributions from nexus of the new Jan; Emma Smith (Meilyr Jones, Seamus Fogarty and founder member of the Elysian Quartet) on violin and electronics and Rachel Horwood (Trash Kit, Bamboo) on drums. Call it Bas Jan 2.0, if you will. Currently, Charlie Stock deputises for Emma Smith when the band play live, while Emma is on maternity leave.
Where Yes I Jan was co-written and performed by Steer and Bas Jan co-founder members Sarah Anderson and Jenny Moore (with Emma Smith appearing on two songs), and chronicled the first two years of the band, Instant Nostalgia captures the live energy and personality of the performers and Bas Jan’s unconventional and thrilling improvisatory pop sound. Steer’s lyrics delight once more in hidden humour, resonance and beauty in the everyday. Be it the title track’s tuneful rumination on the transient nature of cherished places and spaces inspired by an artist’s studios closing party, or ‘Profile Picture’s caricature of the peculiarly modern angst social media can provoke, or ‘I Am Animal’s eutrophic call to follow your more bestial instincts for survival and lust over cerebral human reflection and wallowing.
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My favorite artists are ones who aren't afraid to try something completely different. I hear Charles Stepney, David Axelrod's Earth Rot, Steve Reich, Penguin Cafe Orchestra and others in this, but it's undeniably Sault in the end. As usual, probably my favorite album of the year. mackro