Jump, Little Children Reunite and Premiere Brand-New Song
You may know ’90s band Jump, Little Children best for their single “Cathedrals,” which hit radio waves around ’99 and imbued us all with the dreary melancholy inherent in those ancient houses of worship. Now, diehard fans can rejoice, as the band is back after 14 years with upcoming album Sparrow (out September 14). An exclusive track and video from that album titled “X-Raying Flowers” is out today via TIDAL.
The North Carolina band formed in the early ’90s, evolving over the ensuing years until they honed a particular brand of Irish-tinged alt-rock that was part and parcel with fellow newcomers like Death Cab for Cutie and Interpol. Around 2004, they went on hiatus, each member working on their own separate passions until a burst of reunion shows in 2015. Fueled by the rush of working together again, they launched a PledgeMusic campaign which successfully raise enough money for a brand-new full-length.
TIDAL spoke with lead singer and songwriter Jay Clifford about the new song — and how it feels to be together again.
On writing together again… We’re not like most bands that get in a room and work up new material from scratch. We are a collection of songwriters. I write most of the songs, but the others have penned some beautiful songs over the years as well. We’ve always worked well together, but in the past we tended to take it for granted. Now we realize what a unique, precious and potentially fleeting thing a rock band is, so we’re more protective and nurturing than we were in the early days.
On new inspirations… The music that I find the most compelling comes from artists that I’ve worked with and gotten to know personally. Gregory Alan Isakov and Michael Flynn are two of my favorite songwriters right now. I’ve co-written songs and toured with Michael for years and to see him consistently put out emotionally rich, melodic and meaningful albums is incredibly inspiring.
I’ve orchestrated a number of symphony shows for Gregory across the country and his depth of mood created with the simplest of tools rivals some of the iconic singer-songwriters from the ’60s and ’70s. How have things changed? My answer 20 years ago would have been inverted. Back then the mystery at the heart of the song was sacrosanct, now it’s the excruciating details that matter the most.
On ‘X-Raying Flowers’… I’m fascinated by what humans are up to. If you stop and think clearly about it, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, it’s un-fucking-believable. If you’re behind a computer, driving a car, or just walking to get a coffee the actual profundity of your seemingly mundane circumstance is off the scale. ‘X-Raying Flowers’ is just one example in this vast and relentless human enterprise of de-naturing the planet, of decoding the heavens to catch some glimpse of who we are.
On the last few years… During the Jump hiatus I released two solo records: Driving Blind and Silver Tomb for the Kingfisher. I also worked as an orchestral arranger for a number of symphonies, most notably the Colorado Symphony, composing orchestral scores for contemporary artists like Gregory Alan Isakov, Ariel Pink and Amos Lee. I produced a number of records as well for artists such as Heather Nova and William Fitzsimmons.
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