Elite Gymnastics - snow flakes 2022 Music Album Reviews

Elite Gymnastics - snow flakes 2022 Music Album Reviews
After a decade-long pause, Jaime Brooks revives her Elite Gymnastics project. The record feels like an elegy for a time when the internet provided refuge for misfit kids seeking out like-minded souls.

“Things change.” That’s one of the first refrains on snow flakes 2022, the debut album from Jaime Brooks’ experimentally minded pop project Elite Gymnastics, and while it’s delivered with bleary-eyed sincerity, there’s an additional layer of winking meta-commentary. Like a few others on the album, the heartrending breakbeat-pop opener, “(i always cry at) regenerations,” is a reworked version of a much older recording, which Brooks and collaborator Viri Char have given new life and brought into a new context.

Things have changed a lot since the last time Elite Gymnastics was regularly releasing music. Ten years is a long time even if you aren’t grappling with the dissolution of a close creative relationship, as Brooks was after the departure of the group’s original member Josh Clancy; it’s a lot of time to reconfigure your orientation to yourself and the world around you. That snow flakes 2022 begins with “(i always cry at) regenerations” feels purposeful. Elite Gymnastics’ music—even at its most frenetic—was always reflective. Returning to the project, she looks inward again, mulling what it means for time to relentlessly march on.

What Brooks has maintained over the years is the willingness to dig deep and share all of herself over the most colorful pop songs. At turns self-lacerating, hopeful, fragile, and poignantly nostalgic, the songs on snow flakes 2022 are intimate and earnest. Splatter-painting imagistic memories and dizzying inner monologues, songs like “tutti in bagno” reflect on human relationships and the vulnerability required for even the most basic connections. Over vaporous synth arrangements and slow-motion breakbeats, Brooks sings fragmented thoughts that one might utter in thrall to a new crush. At points, the album feels like an inventive update of the genre-blurring freneticism that powered Elite Gymnastics the first time around, deliberately echoing the teetering chaos of the sample-laden early songs. But part of what makes snow flakes 2022 so affecting is the way she peels back the layers: On “here, in heaven,” she and Conrad Tao look back to a series of fuzzy shoegaze-pop tracks and crack them open, foregrounding a gentle piano line and a vocal line about the painful interpersonal dynamics involved in love. It’s simple and direct but packed with real emotion—the sort of economy and incisiveness that the best pop music strives for.

The record’s five-and-a-half-minute centerpiece, “snow flakes,” condenses the spirit of Elite Gymnastics into a devastating meditation on both the value and the pitfalls of nostalgia, looking back on the past but never too fondly. Over shape-shifting dance beats, Brooks sings of listless days lying in a basement, smoking bad weed, and listening to records by fellow artists who inhabit the netherworlds between pop music and grandiose ideas, like Jim O’Rourke, Xiu Xiu, DJ Sprinkles, and more. On Twitter, she said the explicit references to those records were meant to “conjure an image of the file-sharing era,” a time when boundaries between musical forms felt blurry and the music internet was roiling with potential energy. There was a sense that anything could happen—that new, unheard sounds could emerge any day from somebody cloistered in their bedroom in a far-flung corner of the world. Those were the circumstances that produced Elite Gymnastics in the first place, and these new songs and versions are in part a response to the feeling that that era is long gone. Due to the samples woven into much of Brooks’ early work under the Elite Gymnastics moniker, she wrote on Tumblr, it’s likely that she’ll never be able to upload some of those songs to DSPs.

As a result, “snow flakes” and the record as a whole function as an elegy for a time long passed, as well as a fond memory of it, when the internet was a refuge for kids stuck at home, finding their people through listening to weird music on the internet. It’s always easy to look back and dream of better days—which snow flakes 2022 does in places—but the beauty of the record is that its very existence proves that these spaces still exist. On the record’s closing track, “chloe 4-ever,” the Cincinnati-based artist Chloe Hotline sings about the virtues of perseverance and slowly becoming the person you want to be, her voice weighed down by the knowledge that such a process takes a lifetime. And while yes, things change, there will always be an audience for this kind of music for seekers and lonely dreamers, made up of listeners who feel the same way.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Elite Gymnastics - snow flakes 2022 Music Album Reviews Elite Gymnastics - snow flakes 2022 Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 10, 2022 Rating: 5


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