The new record from J Fernandez, Occasional Din, out Friday via the fine Joyful Noise Recordings label, is a revelation of talent. Fernandez here bridges a few genres with the sort of ease one doesn't encounter too often in the current indie field. That the release sounds like Elliott Smith and Stereolab teamed up on a long-player is further, high praise.
On numbers like "Expressive Machine", J Fernandez reveals a debt owed to not only that Sadier-centric band, but Broadcast and The Clientele, while the brighter, Beatles-y "Don't Need Anything" is lite power-pop. Fans of Young Guv and Papercuts, for instance, should find lots to love here, especially on the wildly-catchy "Volcanic Winter", or the chamber rock-recalling "Wildfire", an expressive rumination.
J Fernandez is a distinct voice, so don't mistake my litany of comparison points as some sort of knock on his talents. I mention those other bands in order to highlight the real beauty and melodic grace found here on Occasional Din. At his very best, like on closer "Light Years", J Fernandez veers very close to the best stuff from The Clientele, a band I mentioned earlier. And while Fernandez is a bit trippy here in spots, the production drawing nearly as much attention as his voice, the singer is also wise enough to know that the melodies should be memorable, and they certainly are.
Occasional Din is out on Friday via Joyful Noise Recordings.
[Photo: Uncredited promo image]