Jul 06, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Ithaca NY and LA-based synth trio Jimkata is back later this week with their first album since their 2016 record, In Motion. After a few years on hiatus, the band returned ready to create, sharing a steady run of new singles this year and last, all culminating in their new record Bonfires. Now the band is sharing one last taste of the record with their new song, “Skinny Dipping,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“Skinny Dipping” is another tight encapsulation of the band’s sound, mixing playful synth textures, funk-tinged guitars, bass-driven dance rhythms, and a towering indie rock chorus. The result plays with moods and genres in a way only Jimkata can, marrying disparate sounds together into an irresistible pop blend. As the band explains, “This was one of the first tracks we started working on as a band after deciding to get back together. I think the end result is a great example of how each of our musical personalities come together to make this sound. Whenever something seems too cut and dry, someone always has an idea to make things just a little weirder. We always try to make both the beat and the melody equally catchy, but are careful to throw in unusual sounds here and there to make sure it stays interesting.”
Yet, underneath the carefree soundscape runs hints of anxiety. The band asks, “What do you do when you think the world is falling down?”, answering their question with the only thing any of us can do: live our lives to the fullest. The resulting ethos subtly transforms the track from not only an ode to carefree summer joy but a tribute to finding joy in hopeless times.
Singer Evan Friedell explains, “When I write music, it’s not like I pre-conceive something to write a song about. It just comes to me, I go with it, and as lyrics start to form in my head and after it’s done I realize perhaps what I may have dredged up from my unconscious. In the case of this song, I had this fun, dancy beat but as soon as I came up with “What do you do when you think the world is falling down?”, I realized I was really reckoning with a deep cynicism about the state of the world and the path we’re headed down. And I don’t think it’s just me who feels that way. There’s a collective sense; a doom-ridden, apocalyptic zeitgeist that’s really prevalent right now. I mean at the time I wrote this, the number one song in the country was the phone number for the suicide hotline. Things seemed pretty bleak and not going back any time soon. So I think in the song there’s a back and forth between someone with this kind of hopeless, apocalyptic attitude and someone who’s more of an eternal optimist, moving forward regardless of what’s going on in the world.”
Check out the song below and watch for Bonfires, out July 9th.