Where music and the natural world collide, Jay+Max are offering a new reality and a fresh new sound.
The British indie electronic duo met by chance after first ignoring each other in the Cambridge University orchestra, started making music together and soon fell in love… with hard rock. They fronted a local band before moving to their spiritual home in Camden where they have been taking inspiration from all corners of London’s thriving live scene and growing in confidence for their metamorphosis into a new and more experimental sound.
With each of them holding postgrad degrees in environmental science, the natural world has always resonated strongly and they walk a tight line between creative and technical. When their heads aren’t in music both Jay and Max feel most alive outdoors. They’re creating their own visual universe that soundtracks the quirky brilliance of the natural world filled with surreal twists and turns. Their music sees a fusion of laid-back vocals, gritty basslines and experimental twists, brought to life with nature-themed digital animations to blur the boundaries of genre and reality.
Debut single Octopus documents their journey of trying something new and stepping into the unknown. Written after Jay+Max first moved to London, Octopus fell out of the energy and vibrancy of the city they felt immersed in. As the pair grow increasingly concerned about global warming and the future of the living world, their lyrics also stand as a call to action for meaningful change.
As soon as the song was ready, Jay set to drawing animal characters to bring it to life visually. With her 8 tentacles, the Octopus can play all of their percussion lines at once, and captures some of the more unusual elements in the song. Jay+Max chose to drop some downbeats in the chorus which gives the song an unexpected feel, almost as if it’s being played by an actual octopus. Bringing the idea to life was a challenge though.
“Neither of us knew how to do animation, so we had to spend a while learning how to use Blender and various other programs to get it off the ground. Then after we started we found out that Pixar spent years animating their octopus in Finding Dory. We did wonder whether we’d bitten off more than we could chew at that point, and we sometimes wished we’d picked an animal that didn’t have eight legs! We love how it’s turned out now though, and that we made it ourselves.”
Octopus’s laid-back vibe grows into an infectious beat through the course of the song, with morphing bass, and cheeky seagulls buried in the mix. With unexpected twists to get you moving by the end, it’s just a first introduction to Jay+Max’s reality where there is so much more to explore.