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JUPITER: JUST DESERTS

Disco-pop duo Jupiter travelled to the California desert to add a little American FM sunshine to their sound...

In the colourful and slightly surreal video for the maddeningly catchy single ‘Do It’, Amelie de Bosredon and Quarles Baseden, the two Parisians who comprise unabashedly quirky disco-pop duo Jupiter play the parts of lovers who are trapped in the domestic mundanity of everyday life.

To escape it, they invent increasingly bizarre situations in their heads, before mutually deciding to end the tedium by packing their brightly-coloured retro bags and setting off to see the world, hand-in-hand.

It may well be that this video is a very real case of art imitating life. Having started writing the follow-up to 2012’s gloriously frothy debut album ‘Juicy Lucy’ in the confines of their home city, the pair felt that they “lacked inspiration” to finish the record.

In order to find it, they upped sticks across the Atlantic, to the Californian desert (as you do), soaking up the sights and sounds of the American wilderness and FM radio, and letting it permeate their sound.

“(The video) is similar to how we make music — we don’t want any two songs to sound the same,” Amelie reveals to us, from the pair’s Paris base to which they’ve now returned.

The results of their travels can be heard on 'Bandana Republic', the duo’s second album. Recorded in Paris and Los Angeles, it’s a preposterously sunny affair, wearing its diverse influences very much on its sleeve.

“You drive around, road-tripping, listening to the radio,” says Quarles, the pair’s chatty, outgoing bass-slapper and programmer. “There are so many genres you can hear on there, unlike French radio. It goes really well with the landscape.”

Amelie, the more reserved of the pair, who provides the breathy vocals which characterise Jupiter’s work, agrees. “You can definitely really hear it,” she says. “Especially on ‘Bandana’ — it’s the most American-sounding song we’ve done,” she says of 'Bandana Republic’s second track.

The sounds of American radio and the presence of Cliff, Quarles’ cousin and old musical sparring partner (who he used to play with in a rock classics covers band) have undoubtedly beefed up Jupiter’s sound. On ‘1523 Allesandro Street’ and the aforementioned ‘Bandana’, the cross-Atlantic influence of Fleetwood Mac floats into earshot overtly, with Amelie channelling 'Tango in the Night'-era Stevie Nicks to tremendous effect.

Of course, for a pair who first bonded as students studying music at London’s Westminster University in 2008, soaking up the city’s nightlife at clubs like the End, the influence of the dancefloor is never too far away.

Thankfully, they’ve not lost sight of the giddy energy, pitched somewhere between the just-the-right-side of cheesy pop-disco of Andrea True and Boney M and modern French synth-pop which made their debut such a joy; Moroder-esque basslines squelch incessantly, and the increased presence of guitars which the pair are so enthused about are more of the Nile Rodgers variety than Angus Young.

Fans of the output of Kitsune, Horse Meat Disco and the like will go daft for it — the riotous poolside romp of ‘Tiki Nights’ in particular.
This summer and beyond, they’re taking their new album on the road, writing new material as they go — and they’ll have company. Whereas the last time round they toured as a duo, they’ll be taking a band with them this year.

“We always wanted Jupiter to be a full band,” says Amelie, even though Quarles —the group’s “dictator” (Amelie’s words, not ours) jokes that the many permutations of performing live “means that there’s more to go wrong,” with mock-trepidation.

Playing with a band, they reckon, gives them more to “lean on”. But even so, you get the feeling that the unique relationship at the heart of Jupiter will remain its principle driving force.

“Quarles is the funniest guy, and an amazing bass player,” says Amelie when asked to describe her partner-in-pop. And Amelie? “She’s the most amazing, wonderful person I’ve ever met,” gushes Quarles. “And she definitely didn’t pay me to say that. Hey, listen! I’m counting my money right now,” he chuckles, jingling coins for dramatic effect.

Whatever their next move — and whatever far-flung location they travel to in order to gain inspiration from next — you get the impression that slipping into mundanity and everyday routine probably won’t be an issue…

words: KRISTIAN DANDO

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