Don’t try and place particular labels on multi-instrumentalist Jib Kidder and his music. He certainly doesn’t. On his bandcamp page, his concise profile reads, in its entirety, “No genre, no hometown, hard 2 pin down since Y2K.”
Over the years the artist, born as Sean Schuster-Craig but who performs as Jib Kidder, has seemed to change his style as easily as one may change their socks. His first big break came in 2009 when “Windowdipper,” a glitchy, hip-hop, MS-DOS sampling banger was used on So You Think You Can Dance, but his current batch of tunes veer in an almost entirely different direction.
The bleeps and bloops are much less apparent on Jib Kidder’s 13th collection, Teaspoon to the Ocean, which will be released via Weird World/Domino on January 26th and can be pre-ordered here. Instead, the album is filled with the kind of warm, psychedelic indie-pop that makes driving around aimlessly for hours or getting baked on a Sunday afternoon both sound delightfully appealing. (Of course, many may argue that both of those options are already delightfully appealing.)
Just let your ears soak up the first single, “Dozens.” It’s kind of like if Zachary Cole Smith’s DIIV was raised in Cali on a steady diet of the Beach Boys. In other words, it’s fucking great. And if you are able to figure out what Jib Kidder is saying without reading the lyrics in the below vid, then you have our most humble respect.
Much of the rest of the album continues along in the same psychedelic-rock vein. Highlights include “In Between,” a light, jangly groove fleshed out with bird calls and reverb-filled drums and “Appetites,” which finishes its breezy tune off with a long guitar solo.
One of the most interesting songs on the album is “The Waves.” The song is dark – perhaps Jib Kidder wrote the tune during one of California’s few cloudy beach days? As he wails “the waves, the waves, the waves” you can almost feel the black, cold water of the sea lapping at your feet.
“You tell me all the time, you know I’ll never do,” he continues in the song. Grim lyrics for those Sunday bake-out sessions, but the lush melodies help disguise that fact. And maybe that’s kind of the point. Maybe we all could all use a bit of psychedelic reverb to cover up some of the harsher things we have to say and some of the darker things we feel. It’s hard to tell because it’s hard to know exactly what Jib Kidder is saying most of the time. No matter. When the music sounds this good, all we want to do is keep listening until we figure it all out.
Grab the album on the 27th from Weird World/Domino.