Jackson Scott is “a college dropout with a 4-track as well as a one-track mind,” hailing from Asheville, North Carolina. His full-length LP Melbourne came out last summer, so this isn’t exactly a recent release, but I think it still merits a pass-over because not much else in the vicinity of “alternative rock” has topped its originality for me. Though his music is comparable to Elephant 6 bands or Deerhunter-related projects, he claims he’s never listened to the stuff and professes a love for Syd Barrett and early Weezer. Above all, his tracks are catchy in a way I never thought music could be until the days of Mac Demarco (Sleaze-pop?), but somehow also sincere and youthful and uplifting.
“Sandy,” by itself, is hard not to interpret as the product of a cynical period in art. A nasal, pitch-shifted vocal melody spits out dark yet humorous lyrics which float above jangly guitar tracks (“little kids sitting all around / wishing they were sound asleep again … didn’t have a choice this time i guess”), and the listener is torn between a sort of nostalgic discomfort and critical laughter. It’s distinct from may of the other songs on Melbourne in that it has a driving tempo instead of a sludgy or shoegazy feel, but maintains a similar aesthetic with the stilted and childish lyrics and vocal intonation. Ultimately, you want to sing along with him, even if it’s out of your range vocally and ethically — Jackson Scott inspires a distorted, modernized unity.
You can buy Melbourne from the Fat Possum online store, linked here.