A is Jump – My Ice-Fingered Ghost

A is Jump
My Ice-Fingered Ghost

I didn’t believe that My Ice-Fingered Ghost was the debut album by A is Jump. For one, it’s very tight and mature-sounding, which is due to the fact that the band has been playing together in various forms for a number of years and developing its sound. But mostly, the style of pop music here feels so comfortably familiar. It’s like I’m discovering some of my favorite Brit-pop bands all over again.

Before you think Blur or Oasis, I’m talking the Brit-pop that inspired those bands, like Echo & the Bunnymen and XTC. The lead singer, despite being Midwestern in origin, has a warm voice with that ambiguous accent that could easily be British, and his tone is so comfortably fitting with the band’s light guitarwork and mid-tempo, warm rhythms that you may just find this album enveloping you.

The opening “Peeling Space” evokes warm memories of XTC and Echo & the Bunnymen, both in its vocals and the guitar tones, while the album’s highlight, “Invisible Arms,” has a much more original feel. This track has a rolling guitar line and catchy melody, with some nice synth flourishes and reverby guitars. By contrast, there’s a playful indie-pop feel to the keyboard-led “Waited So Long” that’s a nice mid-album change of pace. “Cursing the Green Wave” is a light pop song in feel with some slightly edgy guitars to help it along, and

The band makes some comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and Wire, and I expect that’s due to the production efforts which sometimes take a more layered approach. But on tracks like “Until the Roof Explodes,” which uses some warm washes of sound and interesting vocal effects, I get a more psychedelic feel that reminds me of the Beatles. Perhaps it’s more fitting with the more edgy guitars on the extremely effective “The Sad-Eyed Truth,” which has a stellar bass-line and rhythm, and the spacey “1001 Goals,” which closes the album with more unique effects that wrap around the singer’s smooth voice.

While this album evokes memories of mid-80s underground pop, it has a modern indie sound as well, which saves it from being irrelevant. It’s light in tone and catchy enough to prompt repeated listens. Perhaps something in its even-keeled tone makes it a big less memorable than I would expect, but again, this is the band’s debut, and the style is so comfortable and nice that I’d snap up another album by this band in an instant.