Mixed at Buena Vista Audio in Langley, BC, an unlikely locale to spawn such a promising work of indie-tronica, JDH’s debut album is downright excellent. With his delicate voice and superb computer-music skills, this album should be categorized in the same vein as heavies the Postal Service, Frou Frou and Vampire Weekend. Taking four years to record, Arms Legs Feet is a paragon of technical execution, meticulous editing and soulful lyricism.
While the album is a collage of covers ranging from Sufjan Stevens to Fugazi, it’s not a creative cop out in the least. “Quiet Noise,” a stripped-down, almost vintage-sounding track, is hypnotic, and chronicles the musician’s plight since he started the project. During the time it took to make Arms Legs Feet, JDH survived cancer, had a baby and broke both wrists after a 12-foot fall. With the soft crooning and slightly honeyed tragedy in his voice, “Quiet Noise” is a perfect summation of this artist’s life events.
JDH doesn’t work in a vacuum either. The tragic passing of drummer Devon Clifford of You Say Party! inspired him to release “Wake/Sleep Prince,” a single released under < > Branches, one of his many side projects.
This review would be remiss not to mention that JDH—which stands for Jonny Dylan Hughes—is a pretty badass name sure to garner more attention for his innovative and brass approach to electronic pop music.