James & Evander started in the apartments of its two members (whose real names happen to be Adam Myatt and Glenn Jackson) while both were attending an art school of sorts back in 2007. Driven by a love of synthesizers and a healthy curiosity for sonic exploration, J&E turned out a number of EPs over its first few years of existence, at first crafting tender slices of indietronica with The Awkard Turtle EP and later turning out stoney pieces of instrumental synth-pop on 2010’s Sunlight and Circuitry. Last year, the pair successfully added its own vocals to the mix, resulting in a three-track EP which molded the pairs’ knack for rich, flowing soundscapes into a space-age take on vocal-driven pop music. The Constellating EP opened up James & Evander’s appeal to a whole new audience, and helped them push their own spin on “future-pop” to new corners.
Now, after making a brief stop in the land of galactic disco for a 7″ with Gold Robot Records, J&E have issued their debut full-length, Bummer Pop, a record that continues in the vein of Constellating with 10 songs of lush, infectious pop, complete with layers of cavernous vocals. Inspired by the diverse Oakland electronic scene from which the duo stem (running with the likes of Yalls, Shortcircles, Elephant & Castle, etc.), Bummer Pop attempts to cover a lot of ground, moving through moments of disco-tinged dancefloor fair, spiralling chillwave, synth-soaked indie-pop, and hazy sections of blissed-out beat work. The album’s constant is its layered vocal contributions, which both Myatt and Jackson share, landing on introspective themes that fit the music’s personal tone. It’s an inviting debut that doesn’t attempt to shout out its presence, but rather hopes to envelope the listener in blankets of sound, revealing more and more details with each listen.