V is for JJ, set to storm the web with their fifth album

When two of your favourite labels sign the same band, you know they’re a winner. And that’s jj, now JJ, shit-disturbing* with their gorgeous, grimy, and perfectly Scandinavian electropop since 2009, when they signed to both Sincerely Yours and Secretly Canadian.

In five years, vocalist Elin Kastlander and producer Joakim Benon have released four albums (a mix of full-lengths and EPs titled jj n°1 through jj n°4) and a seriously fresh mixtape Kills that I wrote about four Christmases ago. (By New Year’s Day, download numbers for the tape, which remixed and redubbed that year’s Top 100 pop singles such as “Empire State of Mind” and “Power,” reached 40, 000; fancy that.)

Our last run-in occurred with High Summer (2012), but the recent name change (does capitalization constitute a “name change”?) and trailer for V, due August 19th, seems to portend something greater, as well as confirming the duo’s ability to appeal to our most innate senses. The spitting image of JJ’s sound, it parallels their frosty synthesizer and musical fire by juxtaposing sterile hospital white with actual fire, gold paint, blood, and so-garish-it’s-chic garb from various time periods.

Trés neo-gothique.

*since moving to the United States, I’ve come to realize that “shit-disturbing” is a Canadianism. Regardless, it is used positively here.