Fries instead of party anecdotes, Slowlife instead of Self Hate, Pop instead of Productivity.
"We Drown In Possibilities" is a key line on Slowlife, the new album from Jolly Goods. Across the span of ten songs, siblings Tanno Pippi and Angy Lord navigate an overload of possibilities to work, to date, to express themselves creatively, to communicate, even. Fatigue? Yes, but they do not fold under unfulfillable demands placed on others and themselves by everyday life - rather, they assert their right to opt out of the eternal social rat race („Eating Fries“) or to underscore the hollowness of workplace constructs ("50 Emails"). Jolly Goods have long recognized that diving down the rabbit hole of mindfulness workshops or purchasing slow-cookers won’t improve your existence. That’s not enough. It can’t be enough. The slow life must prevail, because this constant floundering within the tangled mesh of the meritocracy – it’s „sucking all the energy.“
For their third album (after Her.barium, 2007, and Walrus, 2011), the sisters have practiced what Slowlife preaches, taking all the time they needed to get the album’s multi-layered compositions just right. It was recorded and produced by Tanno Pippi themself. Whereas previous albums were built around vocals, drums, and the the occasional guitar or keyboard, this time around Pippi composed half an orchestra: organs, layered guitars, synths, double bass, brass, and vibraphone create a sound cosmos, which spatializes the moods and themes of the songs.
This creates associations with positivity and lust for life, fostering a guide to understanding anger and negativity embedded in the lyrics. While the lyrics often come as questions or personal observations, the musical vision is always clear and sounds as stylistically confident as it is self-confident. More than ever, the multi-instrumentalists expand their early sound, which is steeped in post-punk, riot grrrl, and grunge, to create their very own sound cosmos. Sometimes Slowlife channels the Shoegaze of the Cocteau Twins or The Eurythmics of their In the Garden era ("The Misanthrope Years", "The Moon"). Sometimes tuba and piano lurch around a surf guitar ("Heavy Feet") or shimmering influences of PJ Harvey or Kate Bush. "University Hell", a noisy reckoning with institutionalized education, builds on the previous albums and demonstrates that Jolly Goods can and should still gnash their teeth at societal conditions without losing their vulnerability. Tanno Pippi's singing is on display in its previously unheard-of scope and expressiveness. It whispers, sings, calls, appeals, tilts into the head voice and back again.
After countless concerts and festival shows in Germany and abroad, as well as collaborations with artists such as Peaches, Dirk von Lowtzow, and Hans Unstern, Jolly Goods presents Slowlife as a self-aware inventory and personal reflection on the crises of neo-liberal social dynamics. The album is musical empowerment, but above all a plea for self-care and the (re) discovery of the emancipatory potential of Slowness.