The Jensens are the epitome of authenticity. In a modern music industry so often saturated with repetitious beats and pop-song blueprints, The Jensens dare to be different. Defying the pull toward any one genre, this band is pursuing an artistic vision that is entirely unique to them.
Their upcoming album, Hammer and Blush, is due for release in May of 2021 and sees The Jensens dabble in everything from lo-fi, 90’s grunge elements to psychedelic rock, even adding in some symphonic moments in the way of strings and brass. we were lucky enough to chat to the gang amid the release of their latest single ‘Paper Walls’.
‘Paper Walls’ is the band’s first release in six months. This high-tempo tune is layered with crunchy guitar distortion and driving drums that mirror the angst-fuelled lyrics that deal with notions of inescapable stress spirals. This song sums up the mental chaos associated with making promises to yourself to be a better version of you, knowing full well that your failure in this pursuit is imminent; the same way that paper walls give the appearance of structure but offer no actual support.
No doubt a prevalent feeling when 2020 has ripped no only the rug, but the entire floor out from under us, I chatted to the band about what it’s been like dropping a single in this climate;
“It was really good to finally put a song out because, obviously due to the pandemic, we had to kind of postpone everything and so we had a whole release schedule for everything, and it just kinda got canned…it was good to put this one out after six months of not putting music out” [Joe]
Not only have The Jensens managed to put out a banger of a single this year, but they dropped it alongside a strikingly well-curated music video shot by Brisbane-based visual artist, unclechronicbone (James Hornsby). This fusion of artistic mediums; music, film and art, is something that will run throughout The Jensens entire upcoming album and was a concept they have been waiting to execute for quite some time. The boys gave some insight behind the entire process and the drive behind the idea;
“It’s something we’ve wanted to do forever…we’ve always romanticised Leif Podhajsky who did Foals album covers and Tame Impala album covers, MGMT…to have a release that is completely curated visually. We’ve always wanted to do that, so we are really excited by that.” [Joe] “Everything you see visually for the album was done by Chronic Bone” [Bodi] “It’s nice to have someone interpret out music in a visual way, rather than us kind of scrambling to come up with concepts to give to people. It’s a nice interpretation of it (‘Paper Wall’s).” [Nathan]
The Jensens clearly take joy in dipping into and across all artistic avenues, their music’s inimitable nature a result of their ability to amalgamate the most opposite of sounds and visuals to communicate a specific idea.
“I think we all just enjoy a lot of different kinds of music and go through periods of listening to lots of different genres at a time, taking influence from each” [Nathan]. “I think that we really love music from all sorts of different times, so we just take influence from different decades of music. We just add that all to our personality and our sound” [Bodi].
Their openness to any and all genres is something that will run through Hammer and Blush, with the band exploring sound scapes they haven’t yet touched on in prior releases;
“We’ve got a feature for the first time, a vocal feature on this album, which we are really excited about… Working with a bunch of different artists is always really exciting… we’ve got a bunch of friends in Brisbane that can play really well and show off their instruments” [Bodi]. “This is the first record with real strings as well. The first record with trumpet and there’s way more electronic drums on there as well” [Nathan]
When you listen to a Jensens tune, you are listening to the product of ideas hashed out between a handful of musicians that are all immensely talented in their own right. Bodi, Joe, Jordan, Nathan and Phil make up the core of band and have been playing together for upwards of ten years now. Their comfortability with one another and their trust in the process shines through their music, allowing them to explore all different facets a demo might take them in the writing and recording process. Speaking about how this process has grown and developed between Hammer and Blush and their prior releases;
“The three of us (Bodi, Nathan and Joe) wrote the songs on it and so this was the first one where we kind of had rough demos… everyone kind of had their own little ideas each and we brought them together and collaborated on them whereas in the past, we would all be in one room and jam with each other until we came up with something good”. [Nathan]
“We will always give an idea a go too. If there’s a song that’s a little bit different to the rest of the tracks that we’re putting forward for the album, we’ll still give it a shot until the end of the mixing process…Those early listening sessions were really exciting because we were all just throwing ideas over each other’s demos and writing them down. And I guess once we decided that we were finished actually recording the album was when that list of things, well we just couldn’t think of anything else that we actually wanted to record or add” [Nathan]
The Jensens wholesome quest toward self-satisfaction is what makes their music so enjoyable. You can feel that they write music because they relish in the process; the exploration, the creative outlet. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the result is great music garnering them a hearty following, but this is arguably because of their magnetic authenticity and unwavering ability to be themselves.
Hammer and Blush will without question be a very exciting release for The Jensens, a marker for where they are headed and what is to come. Be sure to grab tickets to their 'Paper Walls' tour to see firsthand how much these guys have to offer.
The Jensens 'Paper Walls' Tour
Friday, 6th November
Friday, 4th December
Mo's Desert Club House, QLD
Friday, 11th December
Black Bear Lodge, QLD