BLURRY THE EXPLORER is a quirkily beguiling new art-rock project oozing outta Brooklyn with experimental composer, drummer, and photographer Jeremy Gustin, aka The Ah, at the helm.
They’ve just released their second shortform missive, the Brothers Grimm-meets-Broadcast hallucination of “Limited By Jelly”, the video for which you can be wholly intrigued by below.
It sees gloved hands action painting with jelly over a fairytale musique concrète, all woozy electronic swoops and dream-haze vocals, courtesy Kalmia Traver, of Rubblebucket and Kalbells. Deliciously freakish, isn’t it?
It’s taken from the project’s self-titled, debut album, which will landing on an unsuspecting world in a little under a fortnight’s time and which features contributions from LIP TALK, Japanese quirk-psych duo Tenniscoats, and none other than Brian Eno.
Kalmia says of the song: “I wrote the lyrics for ‘Limited By Jelly’ early on in the pandemic when I was all alone and thinking about tiny virus bodies under fingernails and in our nose hairs, and how a virus carries a message for our immune systems; a message from beyond that can wreak havoc at the most intimate and the most massive of scales.
“I was thinking of this message as a reality wave that rolls through us as a collective, and we have a choice to ride it.
“As a survivor of cancer, I am very interested in honing my ability to listen to what my body has to say.
“Because of the violence of capitalism and the culture of white supremacy, our body knowledge has been cut off from us, and in this time we are finding ways to remember.
“We’re limited by the jelly that we are, but inside the jelly there is infinite discovery and eons of wisdom.
“Music is one really great way to remember and rediscover this wisdom. I am so thankful to have been included in this piece.”
“Limited By Jelly” was preceded by the off-kilter, pastoral lullaby, “Yoru Ni Yuku,” which features Tenniscoats on vocals and saxophone.
The brace of tracks signpost an album which is playful, dreamlike, and shape-shifting; a refreshing, delightful and weird listen.
Blurry the Explorer was brought into being when Jeremy decided to make an album with no band, no songs and no concept presumed in advance.
He put out some feelers and was soon joined by bassist and composer Ricardo Dias Gomes, who’s worked with Caetano Veloso; guitarist Ryan Dugre (Rubblebucket, Joan As Police Woman), and guitarist and producer Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Paul Simon).
Most of the recording process was based on repetitive, minimalist improvisations, and Gustin, Gomes, and Dugre only held two rehearsals together. Once Abrahams arrived from London, the group only had two days to record. “I didn’t really realize I was producing the record yet, and with no one steering the ship I remember feeling bewildered and excited,” he says.
Gustin arrived back in New York from a clutch of shows just before lockdown, which gave him the space to hunker down and focus. “There was nothing else to do, so I could fully immerse myself in the album and start to think about who else could be involved. The pieces started coming to life and the record started to make sense, and it was incredibly exciting! That’s when we decided we needed to name our band.”
That name was inspired by a short story written by Anne Frank, Jeremy reveals; he was reading her diary at the time.
“It was one of those moments. I read those words and it hit me like lightning. The connection between the band being not only an exploration, but a creature exploring, and being “blurry,” as in, nothing was clear about this project at all. In fact, it’s very much still being revealed,” he says.
Blurry The Explorer’s self-titled album will be released digitally on June 18th; book yourself a place on the ride over at Bandcamp.