Faces On TV
KEEP ME CLOSE (LTD WHITE EP)
coloured 12" Vinyl BE
Limited pressing on white 12 inch vinyl.
'Jasper Maekelberg is in sync'. Now more than ever, they're perfectly attuned, the man, the band, the record and the plan. He sounds enlightened, more so than two years ago, when he released 'Night Funeral', his first full length as Faces On TV. We might want to thank love for that shift, because slowly, gradually he might actually start to believe in its potential force. Jasper doesn't even shy away from the love cliches on Keep Me Close, a quintet of songs he wrote the past year.
It may seem like a bit of a paradox, but the accessibility in fact makes them more vulnerable, and courageous. Instead of soul-stirring he shares his observations. Keep Me Close is Maekelberg's sexual healing for socially distant times. It feels natural and organic. He is in a happy place, from which sprung a happy record - or, nearly so. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Whereas Jasper used to excel in sculpting miniatures, these new songs are life size. The intricacies and layers are still there but the preoccupations are gone. Faces On TV never sounded this effortless. During a long tour opening for Balthazar, his set-up boiled down to the essence: himself, his synths and drum machines, guitar and a microphone. An autonomous metronome. On stage and on the road new songs emerged, live, in real-time. Jasper didn't stand still trying, he was in motion. No analysis, just praxis. He was composed, and he went on to compose.
'Womba' was released as a single at the end of 2019 - the version with the intro is even better. He wrote 'What Love Means (Show Me)' more than half a year later. And yet, this is far from a collection of singles, this is an ensemble. The multi-instrumentalist keeps an eye on the song at all times. The new EP is not a showcase of sounds, it is music.
The influences are there, but internalized. David Bowie and David Byrne - Scary Monsters Speaking in Tongues - peeping out of Maekelberg senior's record collection. R&B and blue-eyed soul and NY no wave and afro-pop and yacht rock, Gainsbourg and Marvin Gaye, they're all there. He can't hide his penchant for psychedelic sixties and wood sounds either, and why should he. Eighties slap bass - sans gene - and rhythm boxes add to the elusiveness.
From the logbook of yacht rock: Keep it smooth, even when it grooves. Keep the emotions light, even when the sentiment turns sad. Always keep it catchy. Jasper Maekelberg has read it and writes on. In a band or unbound. Face on/off. [info sheet from distr.]