In the seemingly endless sea that is the Detroit music scene, it’s rare that a band captures our collective attention span for more than a brief, shimmering moment. Every once in a while, though, a majestic group of wizards appear to leave us all feeling like a high school students again, feeling the liberating effects of our first Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
For the past several years, Jamaican Queens have been just that for music fans in Detroit and beyond.
Formed in 2012 by Ryan Spencer and Adam Presley, JQ’s sound is a swirling mix of electronic and live instrumentation, fueled by trap inspired grooves and shrill, yet soulful, vocals. Their debut album, Wormfood, was released in 2013 to a warm welcome from fans and critics alike. After adding drummer Ryan Clancy to the mix in 2013, the band took to the road, touring extensively across the US, and even making their way to Europe last summer.
If that’s not enough productivity for the bands short life span, on Monday, the band celebrated 4/20 with the release of their video for “Love is Impossible,” the debut single from their soon to be released third effort, Downers. It’s the next in a series of often dark, always compelling and beautifully twisted collection of music videos that they’ve become known for.
In a recent interview with PAPERMAG, lead singer Ryan Spencer broke down the concept behind the song and video.
“We wanted to create a visual representation of the song’s meaning [on] ‘impossible love’…I wrote this song in spring, after finally coming down from a brutal depression. My only real relationship had ended three months prior, but with spring’s return, I felt hopeful. I realized that life isn’t as horrible as I had convinced myself over the previous winter. I was still disenchanted with love and relationships in general, but discovered I could be happy alone, and as cliche as it sounds, time will eventually heal old wounds.”
With a flare for delving into the darkest parts of love and lust, Jamaican Queens is the perfect blend of rich, thought provoking lyrics spread over mesmerizing beats and hooks, all in concert with catchy vocal melodies.
Check out the video and be sure to get a copy of Downers when it’s released on June 2nd. If you need a snack to tide you over until then, you can grab a copy of Wormfood and The Bored + Lazy EP HERE.