AFTER initially making his mark as exactly half of cool electropop duo Mauwe, Bristol-based, South African-born Felid, aka Jay Rodger, struck out on his own during 2020 with a clutch of stripped back, sultry, citified tunesmithery, dropping a trio of tracks as a statement of alt.pop intent.
Backseat Mafia covered his debut strikeout in his new guise, “Take It Off”, back in October, noting that it combined “leftfield, lazy hip-hop breaks with a slow, sweltering hip-grind of a tale of a couple filled with sexual tension on a hazy night out.”
Jay said of the track: “It’s all about those stolen looks, the invisible undertones, the push-and-pull of passionate exchanges that all point to where you both want to end up.”
He followed that opening statement of very real (sexual) intent with another quick brace: the lo-fi synth swing with an undercarriage of bass squelch, “Blame”, written during a night shift; and “On Your Own”, which pulled a little across the musical palette more towards the beguiling textures of Maps.
All three tracks feature on his debut EP Knowing You, Part One, which is out today across all digital service providers.
The EP also features “Midnight Lover”, which is the track we’re highlighting today: a languid essay for piano, half-asleep and blissed, offering candour to a lover. “I can try my hardest to deny you … so I hate the fact that when you call my name I come and find you,” he sings.
Jay moved from his native South Africa to the UK in his teens, since putting down roots in the capital of the South West, a fine musical place to be; he first began producing music as a form of escapism, as he detailed last year.
“I know I’m not alone in having leaned on music to get through some shit. That’s the beauty of music. It either helps you to either escape or confront and engage with what you’re going through, even if just for a moment. I know I wouldn’t be me without it.
“This project is all about creating as many of those moments as I can, both for myself and for whoever could want them, and living a life that inspires that creativity.”
Reckon Felid has already cornered himself a slot in the nuanced, sultry leftfield pop pantheon from which he can only continue to grow.