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Album Review: JP Klipspringer’s Debut Album ‘Brutal Politic’


After releasing two EPs and a string of singles, Melbourne’s JP Klipspringer has finally released his debut album ‘Brutal Politic’. JP Klipspringer, the creative outlet of Melbourne-based folk songwriter Jack Poulson, has spent the better part of the past 12 months recording across studios in his hometown and working with countless producers to get his debut album just right.

‘Brutal Politic’ brings together Aussie indie-sounds from the likes of The Outdoor Type and The Go-Betweens, before transitioning to darker lyricism similar to that of Morressy.  ‘Brutal Politic’ transitions between highs and lows across the 10 tracks, giving you a considerable look into Poulson’s life.

Kicking off the album with Words For Me, JP Klipspringer brings in flanger guitar tones and synthesisers to create a distinctively Melbourne indie sound. Needless to say, it’s the kind of track you’d hear in a Melbourne cafe early on a Saturday morning. There’s an overwhelming sense of optimism throughout the song as Poulson’s considered vocals glide through the track.

Slowly tapering off into silence, there’s a smooth transition into the bass-driven track I Blame Carl Weathers. Noticeably a darker and more brooding sound than Words For Me, the chorus kicks up and provides a folky vibe similar to his 2015 EP ‘Din Deafening’. Watch The River is up next, bringing a more upbeat tone to the album. While the folk sounds take a backseat in this song, a pop-inspired bass line can be heard through the mix paired with Morressy-style lyrics to give the song a glass-half-full vibe.

So Polite follows a similar vibe found from fellow Melbournian The Outdoor Type, noticeably a clean guitar riff that pushes the song forward. JP Klipspringer’s use of Ambient synths fill out the sonic palette of the song, which match up perfectly with his reverb drenched vocals. The track offers a more nihilistic outlook on life, echoed through lines such as “If you lost your fire and the spark/If your whole grim life just fell apart”.

Can’t Be, the lead single from the album, utilises Gospel choir style harmonisation along with the rich bass and ambient synths that run are consistent throughout the album. JP Klipspringer’s lyricism in Can’t Be brings to mind the likes of The Postal Service, Tom Petty, and Paul Dempsy, overflowing with flowery metaphors and clever rhyming patterns. The Beast, which follows, flows between overdriven guitars and glitchy music-box samples, taking the tone of the album to another (enjoyable) low.

Rolling with the lull is I Deserve Your Love (& Other Tall Tales), the only acoustic track on the album. It’s  heartfelt number that fleshes out JP Klipspringer’s live set and further pushes the sonic diversity of the album. Synths and layered vocals slowly fade into the the mix as the track builds towards a huge finish, only to be taken away as the song reaches it’s climax.

I Deserve Your Love (& Other Tall Tales) proves less is certainly more, making this track one of the more memorable and enjoyable one off the album. JP Klipspringer throws the listener into Moonlight Receptions, Nicholson Street immediately bringing to mind similar vibes to Words For Me. Following the similar Australian-indie sound of The Outdoor Type, the track features a repetitive chorus and rich riff-driven guitar that pulls the album back up to another high.

Closing the album is Back Pocket’s Lament, a darker song about Klipspringer’s giving up his football club to pursue music. Being the shortest song on the entire album, the song channels vibes similar to Paul Kelly with simple instrumentation and the occasional chanted vocals to echo the songs sentiment. The track again highlights JP Klipspringer’s songwriting, showing the sacrifices he’s had to make in order to create and follow his love for music.

‘Brutal Politic’ proves to be a good debut effort, showing plenty of diversity between tracks while also keeping a strong Australian sound. JP Klipspinger’s instrumentation and vocal work throughout the tracks indicate something special within the budding Melbournian songsmith. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a hard day at work or uni, or you just want to put on some easy listening music, JP Klipspringer’s debut album ‘Brutal Politc’ is sure to help you chill out and get your foot tapping all at the same time!

Album Rating: 4