Bobo, the newest solo project of Bloomington’s Kari Jørgensen, delves into the sonic foray of deeply layered electronic pop. The latest release on Utah’s Hel Audio records, Smoke in The Elevator translates deep personal expression into melodic synth-pop. Smoke in The Elevator was born in 2013 after a string of bedroom releases under Jørgensen’s pop-punk band The Boy Who Could Fly. In its pop dynamic and vulnerability, Bobo’s sound is perhaps more akin to the electronic pop tunes of Grimes with the emotional impact of Allison Crutchfield.
The catchy, beat-driven “Detention” ventures into pop territory with melodic vocals that float on top of the mix as dark clouds holding back from a thunderstorm. Jørgensen’s vocals are dexterous but never seem contrived; they present a complex mosaic of vocal layering while maintaining an emotional core. Under a dense layer of reverb, Jørgensen’s soft and sweet vocals mold to the humming synth and drum machine loops. In “Pure Obsessional”, Jørgensen tackles love in its complications, “Would you please pull me out of this rut how do I wash up all of this glitter, all I have to do is run, run, run.” Every question, every infuriating moment of feeling both lost in space and drowning in another person,leads to this song. The track is audibly lush: Jørgensen’s emotions are awash in sincerity and juxtaposed with memorably crafted pop hooks. A deeper appreciation for melody is seen on the softer track “Turn Around”, emulating the feeling of going out on your own and realizing that “someday you’re going to have to grow.” The oblique beauty of Smoke in The Elevator is captured in Jørgensen’s soft, ethereal vocals paired with a lively sonic palette.
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