Jade Imagine – Basic Love

In spite of the banalities of life cloying at their backs, Basic Love sees Jade Imagine endearingly leap for the light

Album Review by Paddy Kinsella | 02 Aug 2019
  • Jade Imagine – Basic Love
Album title: Basic Love
Artist: Jade Imagine
Label: Marathon Artists
Release date: 2 Aug

'The weekend / The week', Jade McInally sings on her band’s debut album Basic Love. In that juxtaposition, Jade Imagine unknowingly surmise the album’s entire premise – the ever-present 'they' (in this case the working week) impinging on our fleeting moments of freedom, reminding us of the lack of control we have over our own existence.

It’s a theme the Aussie three-piece make their own as they reckon with the futility of it all, the never-ending obligations of adult-life and the queues at Dominos with eye rolls aplenty in this dizzying, wide-spanning full-length.

This conveyor-belt like monotony is mirrored in its economic, threadbare guitars that undertow their soundscapes. Jade Imagine spread their wings over them, employing frequency dialling-like electronics, eerie basslines and dramatised drums. Indeed, they sound like a group that’s really enjoying themselves, finding moments in each song that could induce an en-masse handclap before changing things up at the nod of the head of another band member.

The lyrical content though is more on the cold face, McInally’s jarring truisms dragging us kicking and screaming into the real world. On The News she bemoans the relentless waves of bad news slapping our backs, singing 'Can’t read a paragraph / Without feeling sore', while on Remote Control she denounces her inability to go with her own instincts, 'I don’t know why / I can’t stay here tonight'.

The oxymoron-like spirt of freedom and 'free doom', as Gil Scott-Heron would put it, even plays itself out in the record’s instrumentation, the first half stacked with indie-pop gems, the second, a journey into darker, more eerie recesses.

Basic love is true to the present day. Yet even in such darkness, humanity transpires and that’s true of Basic Love, the band never straying into the territory owned solely by mood-destroying colleagues ready to send you further down the well on a Monday morning.

Up until now Jade Imagine have existed in the shadows, playing support slots with their better-known Aussie counterparts, Stella Donnelly and Julia Jacklin. In spite of the banalities of life cloying at their backs, Basic Love sees Jade Imagine endearingly leap for the light. Bask in its glory.

Listen to: The Weekend, Get Out of Your Head, Remote Control