CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, GENRE OBLITERATING ROCKER JUPITER IN VELVET EMERGES FROM A CHALLENGING TIME OF EMOTIONAL UPHEAVAL TO EMBRACE A ‘BEAUTIFUL NEW DAY’ ON HIS LATEST FULL LENGTH ALBUM.
After boppin’ around and rockin’ hard for way too many years in L.A. and Midwestern bands with cool names like Big Mic & the Metallic Maurauders, Zuzu’s Petals, Woolton Parrish (named after the spot where John and Paul met) and 2Morrow EvR AfteR, the wildly original multi-talented singer/songwriter we now embrace as Jupiter In Velvet hopped over to the UK. The year was 2011, and he embarked on a high octane re-invention of himself and his artistry, fusing so many eclectic influences from different periods of rock history that his vibe is hard to peg and delightfully schizo. Is Jupiter alt-pop psychedelic rock? Electro-dance rock? Alt-punk? How about critically acclaimed?
Beautiful New Day, his brash, explosive but also divinely heartfelt and soulful seventh album, has been receiving off the charts accolades across the indie spectrum. Jupiter in Velvet is currently releasing a promotional EP of six of the 11 tracks, each giving a powerful glimpse of his compelling songwriting, intense yet offbeat classic rock style vocals and multitude of electric and acoustic gifts.
Kim Muncie of Neu Futur magazine calls the full length set “the premier rock release of 2018.” Mindy McCall from No Depression Blog echoes, “I really believe that you would be hard pressed to find a more complete album this year of any genre, than you will in Beautiful New Day.” Probing its vast sonic landscape, Jodi Marxbury of Indie Band Guru said, “There’s a futuristic vibe to Beautiful New Day that gives off the strong impression that we’re listening to something that is…ahead of its time.” Thomas Patton III of Skope Magazine perhaps captures the power and potential of the singer’s artistry best when he writes, “Jupiter in Velvet has always possessed the capabilities of being a rock n’ roll supertar, but at last his sound has come into its own for everyone to appreciate equally.”
As a whole, Beautiful New Day paints a powerful narrative – reflective of some serious emotional and health challenges Jupiter has dealt with in the past year – that takes him and us from a sense of rage and despair to the bright sense of hope that the title promises. Jupiter says, “It conveys the way I truly feel about the difficult circumstances life brings us. That it’s often in our darkest moments when we see the greatest potential for hope in our lives.” The seven tracks on the EP offer sharp glimpses of that journey, from the blistering, emotionally cathartic “Can’t Get It Right” and the trippy, spiritual rock anthem “Monsters” (about sleepless nights being haunted by problems and imperfections) through the emphatic release of the pain and embrace of hope on the fiery “Kiss The Flame.” When you’re listening to poignant melancholy tunes like “The Day I Fell from the Stars,” it’s hard to believe Jupiter will ever get to a point where he can declare, “Take U higher/With a spark of love today/Embrace the fire/Come on now Kiss the Flame.” In that sense, Beautiful New Day offers dark doses of reality followed by hard won wisdom and an encouraging breakthrough. Jupiter allows us to feel his journey every step of the wild and woolly way.
Turns out, Jupiter’s been on a crazy, hairpin turned filled journey his whole life, learning the drums at age nine, playing with his first band at ten and in his teens teaching himself guitar, keyboards, singing and songwriting. He set music aside for years as he became a top gymnast in high school, he set music aside and later pursued degrees in marketing and psychology and received an MBA in finance. A serendipitous gymnastics trip (he was a coach at the U. of Illinois) to South Africa just as he was starting his PhD studies in finance led him to the at the time crazy decision to chuck the promise of a career in banking for the uncertainty of music.
“I had always been singing with bands and during those years realized I had a knack for writing songs,” Jupiter says. “As that developed I began to hear more sounds and textures in my head, and it became clear to me that I could be more creative as a solo artist, not having to run every new idea by different band members. Everything has worked out great since I adapted this persona and began creating my own sound as Jupiter in Velvet. I’m a very creative person and being able to write and produce my own songs gives my life meaning and balance and inspires me to keep going.”
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