Byadmin

Jun 12, 2022

BIG STIR RECORDS and SPYGENIUS are delighted to announce the June 24 release of
JOBBERNOWL – a brand new album from the celebrated Canterbury, England masters of literate
psych-infected pop rock – on CD and all digital platforms. The record featuring 11 new originals
including the lead single/focus track “Son Of The Morning, Go Man Go!” is up for pre-order at
www.bigstirrecords.com now, and will be on record store shelves and streaming worldwide on
the street date. The band’s seventh album, JOBBERNOWL follows the acclaimed and ambitious
2020 double LP MAN ON THE SEA and 2021 tribute collection SPYGENIUS BLOW THEIR COVERS,
fusing the emotive heft of the former with the rollicking energy of the latter into a visceral but
sophisticated set, framed by the combination of wit, hooks and harmony that defne SPYGENIUS.
“It’s mostly about bereavement, you know. That and epistemology,” says singer, guitarist and
chief songwriter PETER WATTS. But if that suggests that JOBBERNOWL is a continuation of the
absorbing moodiness of Man On The Sea, it takes little more than hitting “play” to reveal that this
album is involving in a very diferent way. The punning title of lead track “I Dig Your Your New
Robes, Pierre!” gives the game away, and the groove that comes blasting out of the speakers –
anchored by a tasty retro organ groove from keyboard player MATT BYRNE and propelled forward
by the rhythm section of drummer ALAN CANNINGS and bassist RUTH ROGERS – is positively
ebullient and even danceable. The surreally bluesy rocker “Sky Pie, Century 21” follows and keeps
feet moving even as Watts unspools what must be the most erudite set of lyrics ever to start with
the words “Now daddio, you gotta listen!” SPYGENIUS may be grappling with the tough stuf, but
they’re here to rock, not mope, and the tension kicks the record into high gear from the get-go.

There’s a sense that the band had hoped to continue the loose and (for lack of a better word)
“fun” vibe of the covers album, but the tenor of the COVID-era times and a number of deep
personal losses wouldn’t allow it. Instead they weave the approaches of the previous two records
together and manage the staggeringly cathartic feat of being playful in confronting grief and
befuddling trying times. You can hear the album’s exhilarating collision between the introspective
and the efervescent captured in full on the single “Son Of The Morning, Go Man Go!” It hums with
touches of the ’80s college rock sounds and vintage ’60s psych alike, alternately breezy and
sinister 12-string jangle and pristine harmonies, and an efortless progression from its beautifully
airy opening to darker, urgently galloping passages and an anthemic climax worthy of The Who.
And yet it fows, its radio-ready sheen and supple melodies belying its darker undercurrents. That’s
JOBBERNOWL in a nutshell, to the extent that the record’s carefully orchestrated contradictions

can be contained.

Spygenius may bristle at being called “clever,” but one need only scan the song titles here to
confrm that their reputation for reveling in the sheer joy of language is in full bloom. Beyond
“Pierre!” wordplay abounds on the liltingly sly political satire “Mandy Rice-Davies Applies,” “The

Marvellous, Mendacious Time Machine” (a Nuggets-evoking swirl that’s at once retro and anti-
nostalgia) and the closing, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band-inspired “Foucault Swings Like A Pendulum

Do”. Each drips with droll and very British wit. This is truly a record which, while teasing the ears
with instantly memorable hooks, will send listeners to the lyric sheet and Watts’ song notes to
make sure the’ve heard what they thought they heard… only to discover even more buried
references, linguistic gymnastics, and rewarding conceptual easter eggs. Humor is the weapon of
choice in combatting heartbreak here, and Jobbernowl is as genuinely funny as it is sonically
enthralling.

There is no mistaking the fact that the band is tackling the macro- and microcosmic cataclysms of
the past two years head-on – the brooding “2020 Revision” is but the most explicit expression of
loss and befuddlement. But there’s glee in the way Spygenius convert it all into song, and Watts
goes so far as to drop the exhortation “Hark, hark let’s have a lark!” into the Revolver-meets-The
Velvets rumination “Metamorphosis” amongst near-apocalyptic imagery of insect overlords, virgin
vermin and behemoth butterfies. There’s room along the way for “Screwy” – a bouncy mashup
between Motown, Kirsty MacColl and Ringo Starr written and sung by bassist Rogers – and the
gorgeous 6/8 sway of the culturally contemplative “All That Is Solid Melts Into Air”. The themes
come together in the way the penultimate track (the stately, mournful “Of Narcissus”, one of
several meditations on mortality occasioned by the sudden passing of a dear friend of the band)
dovetails into the unapologetic goofness of the closer.

“It’s also about overcoming, about carrying what you can of those you’ve lost with you,”
says Watts. “And about how if darkness is the shore of life, then silence is the shore of music,
of human music, the music you must dance to when your limbs are numb and twisted with
grief.” He’s speaking of one track, but it may sum up all of JOBBERNOWL. Visually bedecked
as always in the distinctive design work of the inimitable and enigmatic CHAMPNISS, the
latest dispatch from SPYGENIUS may be a more beautiful commentary on the state of the
world today than that world deserves. But it’s also a source of solace, a thrilling ride, and
another jewel in the crown of Canterbury’s kings (and queen) of musical mayhem. Big Stir is
honored to bring it to you.

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