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“Jaywalker” è il secondo album in studio di MØAA, il dream pop di cui non sapevi di avere bisogno

Lo scorso 13 ottobre, la label italo-americana WWNBB (We were never being boring collective) ha rilasciato il secondo album in studio di MØAA, artista statunitense al secolo Jancy Buffington, dal titolo "Jaywalker". Dopo l'ottimo esordio con "Euphoric Recall", album uscito nel 2021 per la medesima etichetta, l'artista ha proseguito con un tour che l'ha portata a condividere palchi di Stati Uniti, Europa e Regno con artisti come Yves Tumor e Film School, facendo tappa anche in Sicilia in occasione dell'Ypsigrock. Anche in occasione di "Jaywalker" non stenta a farsi attendere: dal prossimo mese sarà in tour in Italia e nel Regno Unito, partendo da Ravenna proprio il 1° febbraio, per proseguire poi con Milano, Roma e Verona.

Il rapporto che lega Jancy all'Italia va avanti ormai da qualche anno: dopo il periodo Covid-19 ha avuto modo di vivere proprio sulla penisola, vicino Venezia, luoghi che l'hanno portata a sfruttare il tempo in isolamento per scrivere la maggior parte di canzoni che compongono il recente "Jaywalker". Un disco dalle sonorità fortemente dream pop, malinconico e notturno, carico di sintetizzatori e drum machine pulsanti.

Dietro al lavoro di produzione troviamo Andrea Volpato, che si è occupato delle chitarre e del basso acustico delle tracce, programmato le drum machine ed è anche l'attuale chitarrista dal vivo del progetto; storico collaboratore di MØAA, unisce lo stile distorto ed elettronico delle strumentazioni alla penna dell'artista, che sceglie di narrare dei cosiddetti Jaywalkers, coloro che giocano a dadi con la morte, che sfidano la sorte ad una roulette russa pur ricercando, nella loro apparente e caotica solitudine, un legame con l'altro, apparentemente impossibile da raggiungere.

La fragilità di brani come "Undercover" si unisce al caos shoegaze in brani come "Such a saint", alla ballata "Se 24th St" e al dream pop scoperto in "Euphoric Recall" con brani come "Chalk like" o "Made in the shade", un mix perfetto per catturare lo stato d'essere dell'album e l'anima frammentata, imprevedibile dei racconti notturni trasformati in brani, di cui abbiamo avuto modo di parlare con Jancy.

Hello Jancy and welcome to IndieVision. Your second studio album "Jaywalker” came out on October 13, written halfway between your return to America and your stay in Venice. How was the album born?

I was living near Venice, Italy during COVID and after releasing my first album "Euphoric Recall" I started to write songs that make up the "Jaywalker" album. I was in a pretty deep state of reflection, due to the isolation I was experiencing at that time. I spent many hours in my bedroom studio there writing with guitar, bass, and synth and recording the demos on my computer.


The title refers to the so-called jaywalkers, those who "play dice with death." Why this choice?

It's something that I personally relate to, being drawn to chaos and risk taking, and was surrounded throughout my life by people with the same issues and many of them passed away. I was writing about my own struggles with being a "Jaywalker" but also telling the stories of those who are no longer here, as well as those that are still alive that I know who are still struggling to get their lives together.


Musically speaking, "Jaywalker" is an inherently dream pop album: synthesizers, distorted guitars, 80s drum machines. Are there any artists that characterized your listening during the writing’s period?

At the time of writing this album I was listening to a lot of Drab Majesty, Soft Kill, Provoker, and Cristoforo Donadi.


In "Chalk Lines" you write, "I still fight for you, and that's okay. I'll be over you in a way." From love every artist always tries to get the best (or worst) to draw inspiration from. For this specific piece I ask you: when do you think is the right time to "let go" of someone or something? Do we really have to always fight or sometimes it’s more important to learn to let go?

That is always a difficult thing to assess in a relationship. There are instances where I've been in relationships with people who were just too far gone, and they essentially weren't even there anymore mentally and emotionally due to substance abuse issues. In that case it made sense to move on, but in other instances fighting for the relationship is important and required.


The dreamy, ethereal melodies of shoegaze, immediately transport us into your world; the songs envelop the listener in a very introspective imagery of inner fragility and sometimes anger. How important is it with you to be in touch with your surroundings and what you experience?

Being sensitive to place, people and sensations around me is very important for me. This is what I draw a lot of inspiration from when writing music, designing album artwork and thinking of ideas for music videos. In fact, sometimes I can become too sensitive to my surroundings, and then swing to the other extreme and become completely aloof to what is around me. 


In "K.O." the presence of synths stands out, showing more electronic experimentation than in "Euphoric Recall" (2021), your debut album. Where does this need come from?

I wanted to branch out of using guitar and bass when I was writing this album so about half of the songs on the record lean into using more synth sounds. I was interested to see what kind of world it would bring me into. 


In "Undercover" you often repeat the phrase "We seemed so real"; moving away from the theme of the song, I would like to ask you how you experienced your time in Italy. I was reading that you lived in Venice during Covid-19, a historical moment that, while keeping us almost obsessively connected to what was happening every day, disconnected us deep inside, catapulting us into a reality where almost nothing seemed really real anymore, chronologically correct, remaining suspended. Did this affect your musical production? 

Actually in Undercover, "we seemed so real" is very much in the theme of the song which is about being betrayed and misled by a person. Another way of putting that phrase is "our relationship seemed so real, but apparently it wasn't."

Regarding writing in Venice during COVID, those disconnections from reality and feeling like time was standing completely still I think did affect my writing and possibly the choices I made with production regarding which instruments I used in each song. For me, using synthesizers can make me feel like I'm floating in a dream-like state and there were many songs I remember writing in that period (The One, Undercover, Se 24th St) that really felt like I immersed myself in a dream while composing them.


Speaking of which, the "Euphoric Recall" tour unfortunately was marked by just what happened during that period. Instead, on October 16th you started with the promotion of "Jaywalker," with the first dates of your full US tour on the East Coast and a few dates already ready to return to Europe. Are you pumped thinking of getting back on stage and meeting your audience again?

We are really excited to come play in Europe again, the US tour was really fun playing the songs off the new album, and yes there will be shows in Italy as well!


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