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  • Tom H

Jump, Little Children | Foundering (new album)

Four years have passed since Charleston, SC-based indie rock band Jump, Little Children graced our ears and hearts with their spectacular 2018 studio album, Sparrow. At the time, the band was coming out of a lengthy hiatus and decided to reform to record their first studio album in approximately 13 years. It was title track "Sparrow" that immediately caught my attention, solidly placing this incredible band on my musical radar and turning me into an instant JLC fan.

In late 2021, the band announced that they would soon be starting work on their sixth studio album, Foundering. But the exciting announcement was accompanied by the bittersweet news that brothers Matt and Evan Bivins would not be part of the new JLC chapter. The pandemic had brought much focus to the brothers, who made the decision to follow through on their desire to build a company together that would be sustainable, fulfilling, and provide for their families. Band members Jay Clifford, Jonathan Gray and Ward Williams would now carry on the JLC journey as a trio, along with a few guest musicians in the mix.

So, how does Foundering sound? Absolutely incredible! Every track is a highlight - there's nothing that's sitting in the background or considered a 'filler' album track here. Any of the 13 songs on Foundering could stand on its own as solid hit single material.

Produced by Josh Kaler of Hula Hi-Fi, with Jay Clifford taking the helm for songwriting, Foundering features breathtaking string arrangements performed by the Czech Studio Orchestra in Prague, and guest appearances from some of JLC's favorite musicians, including Travis McNabb (Better Than Ezra, Sugarland), Ruby Amanfu (Sam & Ruby), Christina Cone (Francis Cone), and Cary Ann Hearst (Shovels and Rope).

"Suburban Trees" is my hands-down favorite, with its infectious chorus, melodic vocals, and spacious, soaring-through-the-clouds soundscape. The sparse, echoing drums and dreamy, electronic production spotlight the lush vocal layers and harmonies on the song's anthemic chorus.

"Credits on the wall

Scrolling ultra vision

Static on the call

Applauding the decision

End of the world is playing on the radio"

Beyond "Suburban Trees," the entire Foundering album is equally as engaging and packed full of infectious melodies bathed in majestic soundscapes, with breezy, captivating vocals, excellent songwriting and production. Additional standout tracks include "Ship in the Bottle," a strong contender for single release; "New Life" and "Feather and Bow," each with a prevalence of cinematic string arrangements; the upbeat, folky "Taken the Wild," complete with festive horn arrangements; the delicate "Waterline" that gradually builds to its powerfully melodic and soaring climax; and the touching "Dear Son," a gorgeous song that sounds like it would perfectly fit into Pink Floyd's The Wall.

Along with the release of Foundering, Jump, Little Children recently announced that they'll embark on their Farewell Tour during the month of December, with a series of performances scheduled through the Carolinas, Southeastern US, and as far north as Brooklyn, NY. The band comments, "We'll be performing songs from the very beginning all the way up to the new release and everything in between." Be sure to catch Jump, Little Children on tour if they're in your neck of the woods!

Looking back at their origins and growth over the years, the band reflects, "The past 30 plus years have been an incredible adventure - a mosaic of indescribable events, emotions and connections that have shaped who we are as people. It's a story of highs and lows, of successes and failures, creativity, imagination and brotherhood, a story of a deep sense of awe and love for the art of songwriting and a story of the greatest fans a band could ever wish for. A story that will live within us forever."

For more information about Jump, Little Children, visit the band's official website, follow on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube), consider becoming a Patreon supporter of the band, and find JLC's music on Spotify, Bandcamp, Amazon and Apple Music.

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