Jonnine – Super Natural


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This Instant classic solo debut of smoky vocal introspection and 808 heartbeats by Jonnine Standish (HTRK) really did stick in our head like nothing else in 2019. Featuring co-production from Nathan Corbin and guest input by Nigel Yang (HTRK), Conrad Standish (CS + Kreme), and Mona Ruijs, it’s a properly stunning EP that comes with a massive recommendation if yr feeling Chromatics, Leslie Winer, HTRK…

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Resoundingly adored for her ice cool poise and penetrative lyrics in noirish dub-pop duo HTRK, Jonnine’s music has long provided a timeless, classic antithesis to modernity. She is a rare, anachronistic spirit within contemporary music and brings a signature sense of restraint and class to ’Super Natural’; her debut suite of solo recordings channelling the sass of Twin Peaks’ Audrey Horne as much as Leslie Winer’s elegant, druggy proto trip pop.

Recorded between Peru, Hawaii, and Jonnine’s native Australia, ‘Super Natural’ unfolds a succinct grimoir where she acts as liminal interpreter for immanent devotions that divine a poetic and romantic sense of mystery from the everyday. Encouraged by her therapist, who urged her to explore a solo identity for years, she here gives a confessional voice to ambiguous inner guides that have helped to prompt some of her best songwriting, as found here and on HTRK’s recent ‘Venus In Leo’ album.

In the deliciously woozy low pressure system of her opener ‘You’re Wanting It To Go This Way’, those spirits instinctively lead her down a path of self-reflective nihilism accentuated with curdled guitar and a thumping 808 heartbeat, before her partner and collaborator Conrad Standish (CS + Kreme) supplies backing vocals that tenderly accentuate the knackered tristesse of ‘I Don’t Seem Myself Tonight’, which is also buoyed by Mona Ruijs’ subtly plangent gong tones.

But it’s HTRK’s other half Nigel Yang that most distinctively underlines Jonnine’s mantric lyrics about the push/push of love in ‘You Can Leave The Vampires’ with patented, pensile sensuality in a manner we’ve honestly become totally obsessed with, before the EP shores up with ‘Scorpio Rises Again’, an instant classic framing Jonnine against stalking, plucked bass, finger-clicks and whistle by Conrad Standish, a denouement surely worthy of a closing scene in the next Lynch.

So good.