The leftfield London duo share a mix that’s as unpredictable as the band themselves
Jockstrap combine their classical music background with their taste for outré electronic music to create some of the most exciting new pop around. The London-based duo of Taylor Skye and Georgia Ellery seriously impressed us with their debut EP, Love is the Key to the City, in 2018, and after hearing their follow-up, the recently released Wicked City EP on Warp Records, it was obvious we wanted to include them in this year’s Dazed 100.
In places, Wicked City picks up where Love is the Key to the City left off, with new tracks like “Acid” sharpening the sweet leftfield pop heard on older songs like “Hayley”. But then there are totally new ideas from the band, like the metallic electro-noise-rap of “Robert”, a collaboration with Arizona hip hop group Injury Reserve, who Jockstrap previously toured with. (Earlier today, Injury Reserve announced the death of band member Jordan Groggs, AKA Stepa J. Groggs. Writing on Instagram, Jockstrap said: “What a pleasure to have met you and toured with you. Such a kind, gentle, funny and talented soul. We are honoured to have your verse on our record.”)
With music videos off the table due to the coronavirus crisis, Jockstrap decided instead to launch a virtual exhibition to bring the visual world of Wicked City to life, which ran at implied.gallery towards the end of June. In lockdown, Georgia Ellery also collaborated with Jamie xx (her housemate) for BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction show.
To get more of an insight into Jockstrap’s musical world, we asked the duo to mark the release of Wicked City with a Dazed Mix. Featuring everything from Beyoncé’s unfuckwithable “Video Phone” to Omar S’s Detroit house groover “S-E-X”, it’s as unpredictable as the duo themselves. We caught up with them to find out more.
Georgia, how did you end up quarantining with Jamie xx? What was the idea behind what would become the Late Junction show you did together?
Georgia Ellery: Yes, we’re housemates! The idea was that the Late Junction session would be a creative exercise for both of us. We hadn’t written together before, and we were both up for the challenge of creating 15 minutes of improvised music. We were going to do it in Maida Vale, but then lockdown happened. Luckily, Jamie has a home studio, so we just did it down there.
And Taylor, whereabouts are you right now?
Taylor Skye: I’m in Market Harborough with my family.
Have either of you picked up any new hobbies during lockdown?
Taylor Skye: I’ve gotten into reading more, and been playing a lot of frisbee.
Georgia Ellery: Binge-watching series. Sex and the City, The Morning Show…
Your new EP, Wicked City, is out now. What is your personal favourite track from the EP?
Georgia Ellery: My favourite track is “City Hell”, because it’s the song I’m most proud of. It’s uplifting, but also upsetting. It hits hard. I hate and love the fade out at the same time.
Taylor Skye: “City Hell”, because it’s the one I’ve listened to the least.
Tell us about the visual exhibition that ran with it.
Georgia Ellery: It was fantastic. Such a shout to our manager, Katy. Due to corona, we couldn’t film the music videos we had planned for the release, so the exhibition offered an interactive visual alternative. It was designed so beautifully by Implied Gallery, and it was great to showcase all the Wicked City artwork.
Taylor Skye: We had an amazing team help us put it together, and they did it all really. We got the stats back and a decent amount of people visited it, which was great.
“My favourite track is ‘City Hell’... It’s uplifting, but also upsetting” – Georgia Ellery, Jockstrap
How has your music-making process evolved since your debut EP?
Taylor Skye: I don’t think it’s evolved, it’s probably just a bit different. This time, we spent a lot longer on the songs.
Georgia Ellery: I think we work harder, and bicker less? This time around, I didn’t try and convince Taylor that things needed changing post-mastering.
What new artists are you most excited by right now?
Taylor Skye: John Keek, MT Hadley, Ethan P Flynn, Hogarth, and otta.
Georgia Ellery: Ethan P Flynn! Black Midi, Caroline Polachek.
What was the last song that made you cry?
Taylor Skye: The main song from that new Eurovision film that Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams are in.
Georgia Ellery: “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys, while watching Michelle Obama’s Becoming.
What’s going on in this Dazed Mix?
Taylor Skye: Honestly, I don’t know. Jacob Collier, Koan Sound, Elysia Crampton – those are some of my ingredients.
Georgia Ellery: Pure music.
If you could have one wish come true, what would it be?
Taylor Skye: The end of suffering for all beings.
Georgia Ellery: World peace.