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Shark Week by JAX

Shark Week by JAX

Shark Week is an annual Discovery Channel tradition. Shark Week is also the new album from the JAX half of Nova Scotia hip-hop duo Atay and JAX. Both should be taken just as seriously as one another when it comes to seeking out credible knowledge on Sharks, but only one should be trusted with treating you to fresh, fun, indie-pop-hip-hop-punk. Shark week is available everywhere now. 

Consisting of Adam Taylor and Jaxon Booth, Atay & JAX describe their music as walking the line between punk, hip-hop, comedy, and pop and the two profess to be leading a movement of young adult fans who aren’t quite ready to grow up. 

The two east coast Canadian artists began collaborating in 2019 and ended up in a studio recording their first studio album, a 9 song LP called “Honey”. The duo describes the album as mellow alternative hip hop with some comedic undertones. The two musicians also quickly developed a reputation for gritty live punk-esq shows, and while they may be on hiatus at the moment the buzz among their fans is still fresh. 

On February 15th, 2020 Atay & JAX released their debut album as a duo. To Date ‘Last Night’ has been streamed over 200,000 times. JAX’s sophomore solo album “Shark Week” was released on August 28th, 2020, and includes 2 tracks with Atay including its lead single “Summer 16”. 

The duo’s work to date consists of some awesome lyrics about Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake sketches, going to the movies and we’ll, dicks and weed. The point is that it made me laugh and made my morning coffee and bowl that much better.

The music isn’t all jokes though, the two artists support each other lyrically and profess real respect for each other, as well as a strong friendship. ,

Full disclosure: I featured a song from this album on a recent podcast episode, and sometimes life is hard and press releases are misunderstood, by me. When I featured the song “You Do You” from this album, I wrongly referred to the duo as Shark Week, rather than the album. Don’t worry though, it gets worse! I gave the duo full credit, for what is JAX’s first solo album. A damn good album at that. So, I decided to spend a week with the album, my own Shark Week Week if you will…

Shark Week as an album can stand on its own, although it’s easy to see the influence the duo’s work has on the first solo album by JAX. Is there a distinct difference? Shark Week has a more upbeat punky feel right off the bat. After a few tracks though JAX brings Atay back into the mix for a more familiar hip hop track. 

After spending some time with the music of Atay & JAX I can say definitively I’m a fan of what they’re doing. The Shark Week solo album particularly stands out to me because of the genres being broken throughout. JAX can successfully jump from a pop-punk track to a hip hop track, to a pop track. JAX also includes a lot of extra studio audio, which is just a personal preference for me these days and I’m getting comfort listening to recordings of other human beings talking.

Chair in the Shower (Feat Sunsetto), is the first track on Shark Week. and it’s the kind of uplifting track that seems like it’s inspired by some heartbreak. We’ve all been there thinking ‘you only love me when you’re lonely’ at some point. Right?

The second track is very alright too, It’s All Alright is the first solo piece from JAX we get to hear and it’s sweet. JAX takes a departure from 100% hip hop on this track, sort of. It’s fun, fast, and takes on the more pop-punk tone of the album. It’s catchy this one’s been in my head for a couple of days now.

Chasing a Bank is the third track – and arguably the title track – and the first time we get to hear Atay on the alum. This track is more in line with what I expect the group’s fans have come to expect. The lyrics are fast and hard, funny, and fun. This song jumps back into ‘hip-hop’ in a strong way, keeping the album true to the artist’s duo’s style.

Probably my favorite track on this album is “You do You” – its also the one I f’d up the info on in the podcast. This is the song that could most easily be said is a straight-up indie-pop-rock song. Lyrically this is probably my favorite track too, the lyrics live in my head full-time now and still make me laugh.

“Deep End” is a slower hip hop style track – I’m having a blast trying to reasonably break these songs down by genre by the way – is good a genre? Deep End is good. It’s the kind of music you can start a party with.

“Looks Nice” (Featuring MooseCanFly) is lyrically a killer track in my opinion at last. It’s just one of those nice comments on some things being too good to be true I guess. Looks Nice is the kind of music you can use to end a party – in a good way. 

“Summer 16” is the second track on the album featuring Atay, and the second time we hear the duo doing what they do. I think this is a good point to mention how much I enjoy what these guys do with the actual music they make.

Never Come Home is a love song, straight up. It’s good, go listen to it.

“Bad Days” is the last track on the album and probably one of the strongest. They say you should end on a strong note. I don’t like to get too personal on here, but I lost my dad in 2013 and I sort of wish I had this song then. This song is not expressly about that – that I’m aware of – but it touches on it, and moreover is about how bad days help/force us to grow. I can only hope my dad is proud of me too JAX. I’d bet yours is. 

Shark Week is available on all major streaming platforms, you can check out the album below.

For more on Atay & JAX visit: atayandjax.com

 

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About The Author

Benjamin Gibson

Benjamin is a Graphic Designer and Creative Director in Toronto, Canada. He has worked on projects for Arkells, Broken Social Scene, and Paul Oakenfold. instagram: @ben_in_toronto

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