The latest release by Deena Lynch aka Jaguar Jonze ‘DEADALIVE’ is the perfect oxymoron - with sweet vocals and hard-hitting lyrics, topped off with delicate guitar riffs that are masked with heavy distortion. The track is packed with heaviness - you can feel it weighing on your shoulders, forcing you to dissolve into the ground and sink deep into the earth. 'DEADALIVE' conveys the most human feeling - fear. This primal and natural instinct has been heavily affected by the recent onslaught of the pandemic COVID19- and if the virus had to have a soundtrack, this song would be it.
It perfectly soundtracks a maniacal spiral into madness, conjuring dark images much akin to Dantes' ‘Inferno’, the visual representation of the seven layers of hell. Despite the blackened imagery it conjures, it remains heavenly in terms of sound. Layers upon layers of distortion lift up her angelic yet haunting melodious vocals. Constantly gaining drum and bass make it impossible not to nod your head along, or frantically dance around your living room in a frenzy, this is a scream-worthy track for moments of desperation or release. Her unique sound combines a mix of genres, influences of Nick Cave and Angel Olsen mixed with husky electronica, classic indie-pop and heavy-rock.
“‘DEADALIVE’ was written when we were stuck in our New York apartment as soon as the pandemic hit and our tour collapsed. The rest of it was finished off under hospital care when I was fighting COVID-19. I guess I was writing about the panic, uncertainty and anxiety of this strange world we all got thrown into and the battle with my health. This is the first song I recorded where I never was in the same room as the band, as I was in isolation and everyone else in quarantine. “
Her songs alone are masterpieces, yet paired with aesthetic and cinematic music videos, they become part of a canon. Her clear stylistic choices both visually and audibly show a clear respect for her heritage and culture - born in Japan to a Taiwanese mother and Australian father, her eclectic blend of these two entirely different societies creates a beautifully harmonious mix which oozes brilliance.
‘DEADALIVE’, paired with its artful music video, is one of these. It brings alive traditional Japanese imagery in an experimental and warped story. Jonze conveys a samurai-esque character armed with katanas, fighting for survival. Her counterparts are a duo of masked, animalistic and eerily choreographed dancers. With constant warping, they appear with elongated and flowing limbs - not of this earth or any that we know of.
Jonze is clearly a master of all art forms - a multifaceted triple threat who has established a fruitful creative career. Deena Lynch operates her musical project under the moniker which we all know as ‘Jaguar Jonze’, her art under ‘Spectator Jonze’ and photography with ‘Dusky Jonze’ - it’s no wonder she has such a clear grasp of what art is and how to effectively create it to inspire feelings.
And inspire feelings is what she did with 'DEADALIVE'- its a no-brainer must listen to soundtrack angstier moments of life.