Midnight Music Jep And Dep

Text: Joseph Earp

There is a moment in Charles Laughton’s Night Of The Hunter in which Robert Mitchum, playing the role of a demented, tattooed preacher, chases a brace of terrified children up the stairs, his arms stretched out in front of him. It’s hideous – like something come fluttering out of a nightmare – but there’s a strange kind of allure to the scene as well; a kind of lurching, unbearable magnetism.

Still from Helpless City music video by Jep and Dep

That very same sick mix of horror and attraction defines Jep And Dep’s new record They’veBeenCalled. The thing gives off a primal stink, and the duo’s blend of neo-noir folk and gothic storytelling has never been stronger. Think a Mark Lanegan cover band with lyrics supplied by Shirley Jackson and you will be close to understanding Jep And Dep’s sound – close, but not quite there, because at the end of it, the pair only ever sound like themselves.

The album was recorded at Bernstein Studios which, conveniently for the band, happened to be a space just above their old house in Camperdown. “We recorded the album between the hours of midnight to 5am,” the duo explain. “It kinda worked out in our favor, as the album has an eerie, midnight-type ambience to it.”

Certainly, you could listen to They’veBeenCalled late at night and wake up the next morning convinced you had dreamt the whole thing. “We’ve found our sound after five years together,” Cross agrees, “so it was easy to direct ourselves to the kind of place we wanted to be in while recording.”

At the end of the day, the band went into making They’veBeenCalled with little in terms of prior planning. They didn’t fashion the thing into shape with a blueprint; they just produced it, as naturally as one would produce an exhale. “We play music all the time, whenever we can,” Cross says, simply. “It’s our oxygen.”



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