Life Without Jazz is James Friley’s first release since his 2011 debut Paddywhack. On this EP, Friley sticks to the pop elements of Paddywhack and leaves behind the filler that weakened that release. The tracks are tender, with off-beat synths, sax solos, and gentle bouncing organ. Life Without Jazz brings to mind Toro Y Moi’s more synth-heavy material, and the tracks that stand out most are the two downbeat closers. On ‘Life Without Jazz’ Friley dips his vocals into reverb and accompanies them with warm harmonies. Smooth sax floats over the flowing organ and synths. The closing track, ‘Little Berlin’, starts with tormented vocals and eases into an awesome sax solo which is joined seamlessly by a distorted guitar.
RIYL: Toro Y Moi, Jens Lekman, Destroyer