Jasper / Photo by Fally Afani

The crunchy, rocking rhythm that kicks off Jasper’s self-titled record didn’t prepare me for the swerve that gets pulled as soon as the vocals join in.

The gorgeous oil painting on the cover should’ve warned me; this thing is absolute poetry. Every punctuated syllable is like a soft hand linking perfectly with a calloused one. Lush sound with sophisticated twang, Jasper’s brand of alt-country also leans into their folk sentiments (“Hudson” & “Grace Hill”). It’s wholehearted and has a “down-home” attitude that makes it instantly likable. And they like to have fun too: there’s a Total Recall reference in “Quaid, start the reactor” with its amazing saxophone solos. The instrumentation is electrifying all over and the harmonies are stunning. You can feel the work in every track; the robust effort. A vibrant piece of art itself.

Favorite Tracks: “Grace Hill,” & “‘Quaid, start the reactor’”