YVES JARVIS is the artist and autodidact Jean-Sébastien Audet who, in a pseudo-Bill Callahanesque move, came out from behind his Un Blonde facemask after 2016’s excellent Good Will Come To You (according to his personal colour palette, it was bathed in yellow, for optimism), reborn with a new name.
Over here at Backseat Mafia we adored his album from the tail end of 2020, the self-effacingly titled Sundry Rock Song Stock, which was packed full of a very personal folk-soul vision, packed with strange electronic garlanding and, hidden in those tunes, a righteous rage and railing at the state of things; we gave it a big, fat, deserving 9, summating it thus: “I’m of the suspicion that Jean-Sébastien is actually quietly a genius.
“It’s absolutely a contender for one of my albums of the year, sitting in that excellent zone of music wherein you can find acts as abstruse as The Olivia Tremor Control, The Books, Broadcast, the Jack Rose of Raag Manifestos; that being, so, so pretty, and also a bit weird.”
He’s geared up for the new calendar year today, releasing a lyric video to accompany a new track which seems to follow the same titular concept as the album, “Body Of Work”; you can watch the lyric video with us.
Moving towards a more yellow colour cast than the deep greens of last year’s album and the mellow blues of the Money Mark-like sketches of 2019’s The Same But By Different Means, “Body Of Work” is a tricksy, pretty little thing, tumbling over itself in a skittering time signature change (public health warning: do not attempt to dance to this pissed), reflecting on the creative process, breathy and folky and also electronically wonky.
Yves says that with this number he’s “… having fun with forms. I’m a man of many motifs!” Created with a process similar to the video for his song, “Projection”, he said that the “Body of Work” video was “foolishly printed and scanned one word at a time.”
“Projection” is an equally delirious and delectably ramshackle number which he dropped in February, the video for which he filmed on an iPhone before printing out each frame and then scanning them to create a flipbook effect. With lyrics in both English and French, he says that song is a “rickety rejection of dogma, tumbling tenaciously toward the tip.”
Though he remains lyrically oblique, Jarvis’s whispered words can be interpreted as both deeply personal and politically motivated in ways we haven’t heard from him before.
“When you better yourself, you better the world,” Jarvis concludes.
“Even if you only interact with one person in your life, the effect of trying to see things for what they are is vast. Change can feel like a fantasy, but I’m not fatalistic about it.
“I make music because I get results that way. It’s why I promote creativity, whatever that means for anyone.”