Jump Starts is a duo of friends who’ve been a band for only three years, and they are already on their second album. What Hides Inside is a concise and playful run through the pleasant sounds of indie rock.
The St. Louis band is a side project featuring Justin Johnson of Pretty Little Empire and Sara Ross of the now defunct Paper Dolls. It feels casual, sunny, like it’s intended to be enjoyed, rather than facilitate mopiness, despite the fact that lyrically it deals with lovelorn souls and wanderlust.
They dip their toes into lots of sounds on this record, and it’s easy to imagine that they’re fans of music themselves, as it plays like a tour of what’s hip, stopping at places like The Lumineers and Vampire Weekend, but that’s not to say it’s derivative, or if it is, it’s hard to mind when those bands are just so fun.
The jaunty interchange of boy/girl vocals is another trope that doesn’t feel belabored, and serves well to put more things into your ears. This exchange is also present in Ross’ drums and Johnson’s everything else, as these songs trot thanks to the snappy rhythms that pull the songs through to the next place.
Every track feels like a stop on a playlist you might’ve made for the car, carefree and windows down. There’s space inside these songs for conversation to breeze through.
Smart pop music is in high demand these days, and while some might consider this a guilty pleasure, there’s no reason to feel guilty about liking it.
Jump Starts What Hides Inside is available from their Bandcamp.