Multi-instrumentalist Austin Smith, along with drummer Zach Alderman (Deep Cuts) and keyboardist/vocalist Vicki Lynn (Black Kite) produce sharp, minimal and often haunting pop songs. The self-titled debut offers a dark, danceable mix of booming rhythms, whammied guitars, and spooky synthesizer swells, all of which form the bedrock beneath massive earworm vocal melodies.
Smith, the group’s genre-hopping mastermind, admits to a heavy diet of ABBA records during the EP’s synthesis, “I originally wanted to make slow disco songs. I’d been a layer-heavy songwriter in the past and I wanted to experiment with limitation. Before, I’d use anything at my disposal to fill maximum room in a song, so for JERK I worked inside a set of rules where I couldn’t do that, which forced some inventive creativity on my end.”
Smith and Lynn split efforts on synth, bass, and guitar, often harmonizing and looping instruments on the fly to lock in with Alderman’s no-frills timekeeping.