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James Fauntleroy Pleasantly Surprises Us With His ‘DOJO’

We may never get an official solo album from prolific singer-songwriter James Fauntleroy. But you know what? That's quite alright — especially when Mr. Fauntleroy insists on dropping new releases left and right via his SoundCloud page. Just in December, he gave us a much-appreciated Christmas gift with his Warmest Winter II EP, not to mention the two new loosies he's dropped since then. Now he's back with yet another EP, DOJO, which consists of tracks both old and new, for our listening pleasure.

The six-song set, produced entirely by SWLY, finds James singing about his usual favorite subjects: love, lust and the unexpected emotions connecting both. He opens the set with "Student Teacher," an airy, lo-fi track about going into a relationship with expected roles only to have those roles flipped in the best way possible. "Forgiveness," meanwhile finds James laying out his guilt over a jangly, guitar-driven track that reminds one of spaghetti westerns with a hip-hop edge. By "Runaway," things begin to take on a more slick, finished sound. James' layered vocal harmonies make the track sound extra polished and the musical change up near the middle makes this perhaps the most enjoyable of the six songs. "Stop Running" and "Oblige" keep up the polished sheen, with both featuring music elements differing from what is heard on the rest of the set. "Stop Running" is built upon a bass groove reminiscent of early

By "Runaway," things begin to take on a more slick, finished sound. James' layered vocal harmonies make the track sound extra polished and the musical change up near the middle makes this perhaps the most enjoyable of the six songs. "Stop Running" and "Oblige" keep up the polished sheen, with both featuring music elements differing from what is heard on the rest of the set. "Stop Running" is built upon a bass groove reminiscent of early Sade, the perfect accompaniment for a song about chasing after a lover who just won't stay still. "Oblige," on the other hand, borrows trip-hop's woozy electronic feel to illustrate a freaky session in which James is more than willing to please. Ending the set is "Amnesia," perhaps the poppiest song we've ever heard from James, with guitars, synth and Jame's vocal all aiming for feel-good universality. However, by track's end, the bpm is sped up, turning it almost into a house joint complete with stomps and hand claps.

Though we would love an official, fully mastered set from Mr. Fauntleroy, we do love getting these surprise musical missives from him pretty regularly. Start your Tuesday off right by checking out DOJO out below.


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