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Jelly Boy - Everybody Is A Universe
Acceptance and an emanating sense of maturity runs deep throughout Jelly Boy’s debut EP, Everybody Is A Universe. Former member and founding father of the much revered and universally cherished Happyness, Benjamin Compston’s new solo project is a dense package of country-folk tinged instrumentals and pensive ruminations about life - making the EP a congenial gift of musical refinement.
The record opens with ‘Terminal Island’, a buoyant but tender Americana excursion, introducing us to Compston’s penchant for strong songwriting as hushed vocals suspended over bobbing acoustic guitar bloom into swirling violins and twanging country lead. This cinematic sound is traded for more ragged indie-rock instrumentals as the track listing goes on, becoming punctuated by elements of noise rock, as in the refrain of ‘Lavese Las Manos’, and the 90’s alternative melodies found within ‘Give Up And Gamble’.
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‘Coffee Without End’ is perhaps the most revealing song upon the EP, with the lyrics, “And so we made a child, in the usual way”, referencing the life changing circumstances that led Compston to adorn the Jelly Boy alias in the first place. These reflections about impending anointment into fatherhood strike a poignant tone, playing out over tavern-esque piano lines and creating the feeling that you’re drinking whisky with the good ol’ boys, philosophizing about life and all the unprecedented twists and turns it can take.
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The record as a whole is a strong sign for Benjamin Compston’s individuality as he steps out of the shadows of previous creative commitments and stands ensconced in his own limelight as lead story-teller. The themes of self-help and self-analysis which run throughout the records undercurrents makes Everybody Is A Universe an endearing listen and establishes itself wholeheartedly as a gift that no one would be disappointed to open.
Cereal Pairing: Golden Nuggets