New artist of the week: Jens Kuross
Piano-led electronic balladry from Los Angeles
Jens Kuross: a former jazz student at Berklee college in Boston
What: Piano-led electronic balladry
Where: Los Angeles
Why: Dublin audiences may have witnessed Jens Kuross support Bonobo at Vicar Street earlier this year but this Idaho musician has yet to break through to the headline slot.
Give it time though. If he keeps writing songs as resonant as the handful he’s released so far, then it’ll be a done deal. A former jazz student at Berklee college in Boston, Kuross’s music has the tone of great Radiohead piano-lead tracks such as Everything in its Right Place, Videotape or Pyramid Song, without the existential dread.
Kuross’s songs are more uplifting but similar in its employment of electronic tones. Unlike Radiohead, these are songs you could imagine soundtracking mainstream cinematic moments, without alienating Ed Sheeran fans.
Whether it’s We Will Run’s hopeful sustained chords and woodblock percussion, Spiraling’s uplifting arrangement, Steadier’s ember-burning intimacy and standout line – “I guess your heart beats steadier than mine” – or the just-released menacholy of Only the Lonely, Kuross doesn’t try to obscure his emotion with sonics but instead envelopes his heart in texture. He also does a stripped-back version of LCD Soundsystem’s Someone Great, AKA the best song written about a therapist.
One can hope the next time Kuross returns to an Irish stage, it’s because he is the hot headline ticket himself.
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Ruthven - Evil & Fabiana Palladino - Mystery
Mystery has been a running theme in the careers of Jai Paul and his brother AK, who are back in the music news after it was revealed they are opening an actual Paul Institute in a physical building in London. The news came via the publication Property Week. That’s how the Pauls roll and on paul.institute they debuted tracks from two new artists from their institute, Fabiana Palladino and Ruthven. T, the latter of which is a Prince-indebted slice of classic synthesised pop, sung by a firefighter in Lewisham.