JODI – ” Heron “

Posted: July 17, 2021 in MUSIC

For Chicago-based singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nick Levine (formerly of the band Pinegrove), the blue heron is much more than just a big bird. It’s the symbol at the centre of their debut album as Jodi, the elusive understanding they search for in their intimate, effortlessly tuneful “queer country.” Levine had the great wading bird tattooed on their back, posing in a freezing Chicago pond on the album cover, one symbol immersed within another—one perspective on life’s meaning in a limitless spectrum of experience.

An alter ego for singer-songwriter Nick Levine, who was a multi-instrumentalist in Pinegrove up through last year’s Marigold. Listen through their debut album “Blue Heron” without any prior knowledge and you could probably figure that much out. An air of pensive melancholia, loosely drawling vocals, diaristic lyrics about deep feelings and fateful interactions: The imprint of Levine’s former band is unmistakable in these songs, 

Levine’s lyrics evoke the personal and universal alike, often in the same breath: “Night driving at four in the morning through the town / Dim forager lost in the dark, following the sound,” they sing on “Get Back” over a gentle acoustic riff and keening pedal steel. The beauty of Blue Heron is Levine’s acceptance that true meaning is fleeting, and just being alive with one’s eyes open—perhaps even lucky enough to catch a glimpse before it spreads its wings and takes to the air—is cause for joy. “Is it really so bad to be floating around?” Levine wonders over rippling acoustic guitars on the closing title track, “wonder” being the operative term. 

Levine is operating in an emo-adjacent folk-rock space somewhere near Slaughter Beach, Dog’s Jake Ewald, Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker, and Lomelda’s Hannah Read (whose brother and collaborator Tommy co-produced Blue Heron in the Reads’ hometown of Silsbee, Texas). Collectively, it is the sound of twentysomethings working through heavy feelings one tastefully sighing guitar ballad at a time.

Jodi Go Slowly ℗ 2021 Sooper Records Released on: 13th April 2021

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