Musical non-conformist Jake Tobin has returned with another striking departure into avant-pop. Accidentally On Purpose follows on from Kinda Upset!, his release earlier this year on the brilliant Haord Records based in New York. Accidentally On Purpose, released on OSR Records via Bandcamp, continues the musical narrative set in motion by Kinda Upset!: the study of post-modern experimentation in pop music. The 12 tracks on the record are some of Tobin’s most singular works yet, dropping the ‘midi-music‘ aesthetic from the previous record and returning to his roots with a more jazz influenced sound, allowing him to show off his impressive musical aptitude in guitar, keys, bass, drums, horns and vocals.
The influence of Frank Zappa on this record is obvious, with Tobin referencing musical ideas explored on Zappa’s Hot Rats. However, the comparisons to Zappa do not overshadow Tobin as he continually proves he is not limited to being a re-hash of earlier works, the song The Great Redeemer is a perfect example of this, and is perhaps on par with Zappa himself. The wacky synths, the quirky guitar lines and the off-kilter saxophone combine with the sometimes plain silly humour to make something truly refreshing, unlike many other projects on Bandcamp, a site that has become increasingly cluttered with tacky beats and pseudo-experimental music.
Accidentally On Purpose does not limit itself to one genre nor does it limit its songs to a singular style. Color Me The Color You See When You Rub Your Eyes for example constantly jumps between jazz composition and the deconstruction of electric sounds. Whereas Around is Tobin’s take on a 60’s pop song turned funk-garage rocker. Melodies continually fall apart revealing others to take its place, more catchy than the last. Tobin’s lyrics match the instrumentation perfectly as he pairs rants about his mundane week at work with nonsensical musings about Donald Fagen.
Accidentally On Purpose exhibits, Tobin’s progressing and maturing sound leading it to be one of his strongest yet.
Words by Alexander Weston-Noond