By Brennan Atkins
Jumanji is an up-and-coming indie-pop band based out of Brighton, England, and has been in the scene for the last two years, creating a weird, but wonderful mash of tropical, pop, and electronic music.
Their latest single, “Houdini,” takes that tropical energy to another level and really nailed it in terms of evoking emotion.
It’s reminiscent of those scenes in movies where the character has their hair flowing in the wind, driving a convertible down the West Coast, without a single care in the world.
The beginning of the track is a myriad of statements that many of us may think about on a daily basis. Neneh Atkins sings, “I haven’t been myself lately,” and “I’m feeling pretty frustrated.” Her range on the track is always surprising, and the use of repetition allows the listener to reflect on their own history, and how this song could apply to their own situation.
Don’t even get me started on the track itself, as the instrumental is an absolute bop.
The finger-tapping percussions complement the slappy bassline in a way that doesn’t drown out one or the other. I found myself focusing on a single instrument and this leads to a whole new way of listening to the piece. While it is the “background” of the track, it certainly shines.
There’s a melodic chime that strikes in the beginning and throughout each verse. It’s a great way to segment the track’s sections, really bringing the whole piece together.
Jumanji has shown they can maintain the sound that makes them stand out from the sea of indie artists, while differentiating each song to make a truly new experience.
Later in the single, we get a more direct takeaway from the song with lines such as, “We don’t have to hide our feelings, no,” and “Don’t stop! Don’t give up, no!”
The song’s focus on mental fortitude, and not bottling up emotion for the sake of anyone, is a message both prevalent and important.
A song’s message is just as important as the sound itself, and “Houdini” provides both. In an age where mental illness is so rampant, it’s important to step back, look at the bigger picture, and do what’s best for you above anyone else. It’s a dreamlike escape from the real world – and that’s what music is all about – being able to escape.
While “The Fall” is still my favorite Jumanji piece to date, “Houdini” has crept its way up to my second favorite, and is a solid spot on my personal playlist.
Jumanji can be found on YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, and Apple Music.
[Brennan Atkins is the cousin of lead singer Neneh Atkins]
Jumanji brings the magic again!