New Jackson: Ooops!… Pop – This swerve towards deft melody suits David Kitt down to the ground

Kitt’s third album under the New Jackson moniker sounds so carefully crafted, you couldn’t really call it a side project

Oops!... Pop
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Artist: New Jackson
Genre: Electronic
Label: Permanent Vacation

David Kitt is clearly in one of those longed-for creative purple patches. The past three years have seen a brace of fine albums released under the Dublin musician’s own name, including last year’s Idiot Check; perhaps there’s something in the water of Ballinskelligs, the Co Kerry village that he relocated to during the pandemic.

Now comes an album in the guise of his other musical endeavour, described by Kitt as “nocturnal house jams with a ghostly disco tint”. It’s not quite right to refer to New Jackson as a side project, however. Given how considered the output has been over two previous albums, that label damns his house and electronic-focused material with faint praise and perhaps suggests a throwaway approach to the process. Although it’s true that New Jackson’s recorded output has been more sporadic than his other work, this third album sounds as carefully crafted as anything else Kitt has done.

Its title suggests that Kitt has made a mistake by stumbling on a poppier sensibility, but it turns out that this swerve towards deft melody suits him. The song Like, a commentary on social-media interactions, was injected with “a little bit of Wham!”, according to Kitt. That pop vibe is more defined on songs such as Out of Reach, with its euphoric glimmer, or With the Night at Our Feet, which is full of gentle, bittersweet nostalgia, and on which Kitt murmurs about “sending a postcard to those memories”.

Si Si Si sets a tone that flutters between mellow and melancholy, with the intangible vocals of the up-and-coming artist Rita Lynn drifting in and out of a booming house beat. Elsewhere, the genre-defying Irish act Fehdah lends her voice to Day in Shock, a dynamic concoction of dancehall, house and techno-pop that recalls Major Lazer’s finest moments, while other musician pals, including Richie Egan, Kean Kavanagh and Graham Cooney, aka Yenkee, provide backing vocals at various points.


There are very few missteps here. The outlier is an unnecessary vocoder-led cover of The Stone Roses’ I Wanna Be Adored, which undoubtedly goes down well in the wee hours at a festival but only disrupts the flow of Oops! ... Pop. It’s a bold inclusion, but when placed alongside the album’s glorious standout track, The OK Hole, which manages to be both dreamlike and nightmarish in one fell swoop, it sounds a little tokenistic.

Still, if this album has taught Kitt or his listeners anything, it’s that there’s no shame in a good pop song, no matter how many bells, whistles or synthesised vocals it’s adorned with.

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. She writes about music and the arts for The Irish Times