Jensen Sportag – Pure Wet review

Jensen Sportag seem to revel in the mystery and elusion of information, a US duo formed of Samuel Austin Wilkinson and Elvis Benjamin Craig who describe themselves as “the fellowship of laughter and the urgency of tears” (really). Whoever they are, there’s something a little magical about the music of Jensen Sportag. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what, but the tracks here are strangely alluding.

Musically, it’s obvious that Wilkinson and Craig have a passion for yacht rock, blue-eyed soul and lovelorn balladry. Throw in a few S.O.S Band, Balearic disco and electro-funk influences, and you have Jensen Sportag. If Chromeo grew up listening to Michael McDonald records rather than Cameo and Billy Ocean, they’d probably sound like this. It’s a good look.

As an EP, Pure Wet is a great listen. Of particular note is “Jureaux”, a breezy noughties take on yacht rock that sounds like it was made purely for late night AOR radio. “Everything Is Good” impresses, too, not least for its eyes closed, face scrunched harmonizing and 80s slap bass groove. “Masquest” boasts a touch more electro-funk flavour amongst the autotune vocals and silly strings, while “Pure Wet” itself is surprisingly Balearic construction, all soundscape synth sweeps, bleep melodies and sparse vocal samples. We may never hear from them again, but Pure Wet is worth investigating.

Matt Anniss