J GRAVES Ass U Me / Bested (FOF)
by Walter Price
Existing in the same sonic universes as Skating Polly, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Broken Baby, Portland’s celebrated J Graves wants to take on an adventure of your choosing. From their experimental storyline album Fortress of Fun, comes two going-your-own-way alt-rock blasters “Ass U Me” and “Bested”.
In a Bandcamp post, frontperson Jesse Graves shares the genesis of the new tracks, “Ass U Me and Bested, respectively, were the first and last songs written on Fortress of Fun (FOF). I have a video of myself playing Ass U Me while recording our Deathbed EP in 2019, the first couple of bars, and the makings of a verse. We were in a science fiction-themed studio called Destination: Universe! which is where the choose your own adventure seed was planted.
“Both songs have some unique group efforts – Ass U Me has what we call “calps” a misspelling of claps which is us doing our own clapping stunts. In Bested we each played a singular note on the piano to alter be reversed and distorted which funnily enough was labeled as “pinao”, much like our “calps”. The bass line is the star of Bested and the plot of the music video reflects as such. Kelly really is an archer and yes that is her horse bow. The sword and chainmail found in the FOF music videos all belong to her. All the heartbreak, loneliness, longing to be known, that’s all mine, but there’s plenty in these songs to go around and surely I’m not alone.”
For as tightly produced, well-written, and personal as these two singles are, it may be the Cai Indermauer-helmed music videos that have tongues wagging just the same. Replete with beachy scenes, connective tattoos, chainmail, and much more…but you’ll have to watch and choose which way they and perhaps yourself will go.
You can stream and view both “Ass U Me” and “Bested”, here at the GTC.
J GRAVES Ass U Me / Bested
Artwork and band photo courtesy of Public Display PR
Music video filmed/edited by Cai Indermauer
Art direction by Dorothy Siemens
All songs written by Jessa Graves and performed by J. Graves
Aaron MacDonald – Drums
Kelly Clifton – Bass
Jessa Graves – Guitar + Vocals
Recorded and produced by J. Graves
Mixed by Sylvia Massy
Mastered by Amy Dragon at Telegraph Audio
Layout, design, and sleeve photo by Dorothy Siemens. Cover photo by Cai Indermauer, edited by Dorothy Siemens
“In J. Graves nothing is wasted. Songs are extensions of personal experience in which breakups, abandonment, unsupportive partners, and emotional strife see re-use as stepping stones, providing a path from disappointment to cathartic, regenerative music.” – bio