ABOVE: JENSEN SPORTAG
The sleek productions created by Austin Wilkinson and Elvis Craig under their Jensen Sportag moniker sounds more tailored to a Gothenburg nightclub or Parisian after-party than the duo’s hometown of Cottontown, Tennessee. Specializing in meshing smooth-rock touchstones (see: Fleetwood Mac, Hall & Oates, Steely Dan), with lounge-y techno and emotive lyrics, Wilkinson and Craig seem singularly obsessed with inverting the concepts of “cool” and “cheesy.”
“Under the Rose” is the first single from the pair’s debut full-length record, Stealth of Days, which follows 2011’s Pure Wet EP with more R&B-influenced pop. The track itself is all twangy synths and breathy vocals that might require a smoke machine and disco ball to be experienced properly. (The cut would also make for an excellent soundtrack to a very sexy elevator ride.) While they aren’t the first guys to take ’80s clichés and inject new life into them (Kavinsky and Ford & Lopatin also come to mind), Jensen Sportag have a way of smoothing their influences into something surprisingly subtle and catchy.
According to the band, “Stealth of Days takes place in the garden. ‘Under the Rose’ is about an ordinary pain, pain of loss. Through passionate, extravagant memory-idealizing heartbreak ritual, then silence, the pain becomes our darkest secret. Through the autumn and winter we carry that most ancient symbol, the hidden rose, as we lament our lost love: the leaf that fell in spring.”
STEALTH OF DAYS IS OUT NOVEMBER 12 ON CASCINE. FOR MORE ON THE BAND, VISIT ITS WEBSITE.