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Live Review: PREMIERE: Lupa J is back with dark and captivating new single, 'Moth'

5 October 2017 | 11:11 am | Camilla Patini

Nineteen-year-old Lupa J, otherwise known as Imogen Jones, is a self-taught electronic music artist from Sydney. Until 15, she played classical violin but realising it wasn’t for her, she soon switched to writing, composing and producing her own Grimes-inspired music, releasing her first EP The Seed in 2014. She put out four new singles in the following year which saw her being championed by the likes of Stereogum, I-D Magazine and Rookie. Given her recent success – having supported Grimes, Sarah Blasko and Tegan and Sara – and her restless and prolific creativity (having also released her second EP, My Right Name last year together with a number of other singles and remixes), Lupa J could very well be poised for a meteoric rise with the release of her new album, A House I Don’t Remember.

‘Moth’ is the second captivating track on this album and it’s definitely a standout; dark and atmospheric, it’s about "walking into a department store and feeling simultaneously transfixed and paralysed by surrounding images of objectified women," according to Jones. "Girls on billboards laughing / Silence: hysterical, lasting," Lupa J sings in an airy and somewhat spooky tone. 'Moth' articulates a recurring theme of Lupa J's – female agency and femininity – over a poppy beat and dark synths, delivering a song with an oddly mesmerising quality.

This song is all about the layering: dark and cutting synths, a heavy-set bass line and reverb-y vocals mesh and build into something decidedly eerie. And despite the airiness and falsetto of the vocals, the song has a dark and oppressive undercurrent of menace, perhaps produced by the insistent and seemingly rising chiming/ticking synths in the background.The song makes for an immersive experience, sometimes sounding so drenched in reverb it’s not too far off from what Julianna Barwick might sound like if she decided to make a more synthy electronic record. The diffuseness and haziness of the lyrics is overall effective at creating the sense of the paradox Lupa J describes in feeling "worn down after growing up as a girl, struggling to develop an identity while everyone and everything reinforces the idea that first and foremost you are seen as a body to be perfected or consumed," yet "still helplessly drawn to these images like a moth to artificial light."

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'Moth' is yet another captivating release from Lupa J, and one which marries her grappling with serious themes with dense atmospherics and moody textures perfectly. This track definitely makes for one of her strongest yet.

A House I Don't Remember is out October 13th.