Oncle Jazz

Oncle Jazz

A name like Men I Trust may have the whiff of irony, but there’s nothing tongue-in-cheek about the Quebec band’s Oncle Jazz, even if the album doesn’t have much to do with the genre they reference in the title. Instead, the group charts a lazy course between chillwave, yacht rock, and the haziest strains of dream pop, tapping each sound for maximum mood-setting potential—and indulging in a healthy dose of the surreal along the way. They like their keyboards woozy, their chord progressions complex, and their vocals breathily suggestive; it’s a fair bet they’ve got more than a few Sade albums in their collection, and maybe some Steely Dan too. It may not be jazz per se, but their chops aren’t to be sneezed at—their bass/guitar/drums interplay is as fluid as it is understated, and Emma Proulx’s soft sigh of a voice is sneakily assertive. And unlike some bands that put a primacy on vibes, they’re not afraid to indulge a knowing wink: “Fiero GT” is a love letter to ZZ Top, “Slap Pie” an homage to slap bass. But Seinfeld’s “show about nothing” this certainly isn’t—on the contrary, they’ve found a way to fit just about everything into their sound, and make it work.

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