Jib Kidder - Teaspoon to the Ocean

Tom Walters reflects on the latest from the self-professed “college artist.”

a1470946019_10

Moving can be like making a collage. There’s the initial packing: rummaging through your room and grabbing all the essentials, rediscovering memories through nostalgic memorabilia in the process. Then there’s the traveling, where the music you choose for your journey becomes another piece of the puzzle—the essential corners that shape the picture, in fact. Of course, there’s the unloading and arranging: the process of stitching your new surroundings together with the old and the new, sewing the beginnings of a new patchwork quilt.

Having just moved cities myself, Jib Kidder‘s latest album Teaspoon to the Ocean has been a faithful companion—the kind of new friend who’s more than willing to show you around and grab a couple of drinks. Kidder, whose real name is Sean Schuster-Craig, refers to himself as a collage artist, and it’s easy to see why. Across its eleven tracks, he moulds sounds, textures and feelings into his own unique aesthetic, creating an off-kilter world with an atmosphere of addictive pop sensibilities. It’s incredibly easy to get lost in, and as far as exploring new surroundings goes, you couldn’t ask for a more aptly mesmerising album.

As such, Kidder’s music is outside of any set time or place. “In Between” is a jittery foot-tapper that I’ve found elevates dreary bus journeys into therapeutic experiences, whereas lead single “Appetites” is more apt for that brisk, breezy walk around town. This is exactly what the entirety of Teaspoon to the Ocean is like—there’s the common thread of Kidder’s aesthetic, but each new track is some other sporadic thought or idea taking shape, as if you were to get lost in your new city on purpose, enjoying aimless walks from one street tot he next.

Despite Kidder’s vocals melting and merging with the music, making it lyrically unintelligible, his voice carries an emotional weight to it that’s often melancholic—there’s a sense of longing and restlessness floating in and around it that makes it that much more relatable. It’s always hard adjusting to new surroundings, but listening to this record these past couple of weeks has actually helped me get oriented, despite its own complete lack of orientation. This is music for times of confusion and change—Teaspoon to the Ocean flows fluidly from one erratic thought to the next, forming a vibrant patchwork cover of clashing colors that might not make much sense at first, but ultimately reveals itself to be an essential accessory.

Teaspoon to the Ocean is out now via Weird World Record Co.