SOUNDSXP – 2/6/2013


The Janskys
When Silence Speaks Sawayaka Sheffield

Article written by Matt H – Jun 2, 2013


The Janskys – polychromatic flux

Sheffield’s Janskys have form in well-crafted heartfelt Americana. This latest offering very much starts off in that vein – After the Flood offering a dreamy, pared down take on Joshua Tree-era U2. The next few songs also meander nicely along, the sort of earnest, jangly country rockers that sound good out of doors, pint in hand, on a sunny afternoon.

As the record presses on though they start to push their boundaries and become more and more interesting as a result. That Way starts with carefully slipshod rhythms, background feedback notes and a chiming guitar which knocks their sound nicely off-kilter. Interlude is a highly effective fragment of instrumental atmospherics. It’s not all to the good – I could do without the wakawaka funky moments of Better Day and Lost (though even there, there’s some interesting electronics and background noises knocking around) and the matching of broody rhythms to Laurel Canyon harmonies in Been and Gone makes for something of a curate’s egg. But it shows some real ambition and determination to bring in ideas, and as a result there’s some proper gems. I Fall Down skilfully blends their light into the shade and Devil In Your Head is a fittingly excellent closer. For all that the ‘antiqued’ sound that kicks it off is a confection it’s an effective one when allied to the gently drifting, edge-of-sleep ebb and flow before building to a neatly euphoric climax.


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