The Sentimental Ghosts of a Hundred Sketches

As Jensen Sportag, Austin Wilkinson and Elvis Craig have been called an “enigmatic art-pop duo” who, depending on the source, represent “a hipster take on 80s winebar muzak” or “a taste from the romance-filled elevators of the future.” As Wilkinson recently relayed to The Fader though, “The sound of Jensen Sportag is ever-evolving and devolving.” “Our motivations,” he continued, “are still simply the unique and purely joyful emotion we feel when we make a beautiful sound, and then to layer that sound with another.” While they’ve remained true to that focus with the duo’s new single, “One Lane Lovers,” the track also bears an encouraging message of progression.

Accompanying “One Lane Lovers” is a sense of intangible positivity — a feeling that Wilkinson elaborated on via email as the duo returned to Nashville following a performance at the Lapsus Festival in Barcelona. “The music of ‘One Lane Lovers’/‘Let The Queen Bee The Boss’ is symbolic for us because it’s something personal about leaving the sentimental ghosts of a hundred sketches and demos and old unreleased songs to the past and propelling forward toward the ideas and experiences of our future.” “In that analogy,” he continues, “the event of upheaval is the recent release of our album Stealth of Days,” the duo’s 2013 LP, which SPIN’s called “a kaleidoscope dreamscape with an extra-heavy layer of Vaseline smeared across the lens.”

While “One Lane Lovers” is dense in its magnetic pop-funk, Wilkinson speaks to a deeper lyrical thread that runs beneath the track’s surface. “In the same way we can get used to very unhealthy conditions we can adapt rapidly to new realities,” he says. “The song has a sort of propulsion surging out of darkness tone to it and since our music is more reflective than nostalgic, both the difficult and promising are at peace in the same thought.” This emerging paradigm becomes a reality with each new morning and every step forward, and despite appearing to be sonically focused on the rearview the song represents a fresh start that begs repeating, if only to help further escape the phantoms of our past.