As of late, it appears that the blog era is officially dead. With outlets like Pigeons & Planes, DJBooth and many others eschewing the attempts at posting daily singles and projects in favor of commentary and features peppered with video, writing something worthwhile about a project seems lost. Whatever the motivations of others, it’s an actual disservice to put up the latest album by Chicago artist Jean Deaux titled Krash without any context. For an act that has been working in the background for as long as most of us locally can remember, it’s a true journey into the intricacies of a young women finding expression through pain and growth.
On Krash, Deaux’s first release since her standout 2012 offering, Soular System, she is decidedly more mature, her sultry voice finding added agency in the six years since we last got solo work. On the surface, of course it does. Six years is a long time and no rational person would stay the same. However, Deaux proves throughout this project that she is wildly capable of channeling big life lessons and relative mundanities into art that can stand on it’s own merits and effect listeners in a powerful and personal way. Experience is the central communicator, espoused through careful songwriting and underlined by wide-ranging production that seems tailor made to each tune.
More than simply a follow up for music’s sake, Krash is a short audial maze with skits throughout painting a real, if dark, portrait of the story. In an age of Twitter wannabes and Instagram-curated personalities, Deaux embodies the real deal whether onstage, around town, on tour or the studio. There’s a pervasive Chicago realness that permeates from her personality to her music.
Waiting long times between albums can be frustrating for fans and listeners alike. What Jean Deaux proves on this latest project is that sometimes a hiatus is the best thing. She creates across several mediums and here she offers a fittingly layered product. Top to bottom, songs are cohesive without needing to blend together in autonomy. On a three-track stretch from the title track “Krash” to “Work For Me” she goes from dropping heavy-handed bars to singing floating harmonies, with the bold, throttling punk-inspired “Code” in between. If there’s one thing that Deaux has struggled at over the years, it would simply be showing off all of her talents at once, the unique plight of someone with so much to offer. On Krash though, it all seem to find a home, underlined by newfound experiences.
Get into the project below and make sure you catch the tracks streaming regularly on Mild Sauce Radio.