Part of the effervescent London post-punk/new wave/DIY scene of the last decade, Bas Jan emerged around 2015 as a vehicle for the ideas of harpist (!) Serafina Steer, who over the years has thickened the broth of their project until it became a quartet of girls and thus, officially, a band.

Even included in the tour mentioned at the opening of this short text, the girls' music brings some elements that are somewhat strange to 'common' post-punk or new wave, already distinguishable in “At the counter”, the track that opens Back to the swamphis latest work released in November 2023 by the great Fire Records and a big hit here.

You don't even need to listen to the song or the album so carefully to notice the violin, cello and vocal harmonies in chorus making their presence known alongside the kitchen marked with an 80's cadence, the synthesizers and the spoken singing and blasé voice of Serafina (which reminded me a bit Laetitia Sadier e Trish Keenan).

In fact, there is a lot of Stereolab influence on the album and throughout Bas Jan's trajectory, as well as Lizzy Mercier Descloux e ESG, Brian Eno and disco/synth pop. This portion of good references and the way they shape them gives a different face to the girls among the profusion of other bands, if not similar, placed under the same umbrella; sometimes more danceable (“No more swamp”), sometimes more experimental (“Credit card”) and sometimes both ways (“Ding dong”), but never sounding exactly lively. Maybe that's why I like it so much hahaha.

Find it out. And listen to the stalk!


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