Jinks – Poison Lover

todayApril 29, 2023 2548 36 4

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At the start of April, agit-pop duo Jinks’ debut single, Poison Lover, was beamed nto the homes of over 5m people. Not bad for a band who only formed six months ago. Soundtracking a key storyline in ITV drama Grace, the emotionallycharged pop-rock stomper hailed the arrival of Londoners Ollie Jacobs (producer, songwriter) and Jodie Morgan (vocals, songwriter) onto an unsuspecting pop landscape. With a raft of brazenly honest, character-stuffed songs under their belts, ranging from the shady, drum N bass pop behemoth Pink City to Dumb’s fantastical electro, Jinks are keen to keep their sound evolving. “I would describe it as eclectic and a bit chaotic,” laughs Jodie. “But in a way that works. In terms of lyrics, it tends to be a bit tongue in cheek and quirky.” Inspired by everyone from the first album Lily Allen to cutting-edge collective Loud LDN, Jinks’ songs are also underpinned by a rebellious spirit. “It’s about not taking yourself too seriously and having a bit of fun,” Ollie confirms. “It’s cool but it’s not trying to be too serious.”

It was while Ollie was working at West London’s Rollover studios last October that he met Jodie. Or rather he poached her from a neighbouring room. “I had the opportunity to write something for Grace and then I heard Jodie and I was like ‘Let’s put something together’,” explains Ollie, who has worked as a dance and pop producer for over a decade. “I knew she’d be perfect for the song.” Working to a tight brief suited the pair, with the song emerging quickly. “We cracked it on the first day,” continues Ollie. “Then the studio came back and said ‘By the way we want it to be called Poison Lover’ so we had to change the lyrics. We had it in two days.” Fast forward six or so months and the results aired on the season finale of one of Britain’s biggest dramas. “It was sick,” smiles Jodie, who’s been releasing music since she was 17. “All the women in my family watch Grace, so when I told my mum she was like ‘What!?’. My mum and brother FaceTimed me saying ‘We’ve just heard your song on TV!’.”

This obvious creative spark kickstarted by Poison Lover quickly evolved into a fire, with songs emerging left, right, and centre. “We’ve got a lot of music under our belt,” says Jodie. “It’s a really nice position to be in. I remember starting another song called Enough is Enough, while we were making Poison Lover, just to see what happens, and we were just standing up going ‘what??’.” “We definitely have moments where we’ll get super excited about a song,” adds Ollie. It was after shifting their focus to other projects once Poison Lover was sent off that the pair decided to continue their working relationship and to release the song officially as Jinks. Although, actually, the name took some time to arrive. “We called ourselves The Act for ages,” laughs Jodie. “A month ago we settled on Jinks. So it’s like that game you’d play as a kid where if you said the same word as someone else, like jinks! Padlock’. Also, if people say hi to us it’s like ‘hi Jinks’. I like that.”

Hijinks is apt. Playful, candid, honest, and occasionally shady, Jinks’ songs lean into our Y2k obsession with a focus on that era’s spirit of experimentalism. Having grown up listening to a lot of Lily Allen (“I get compared to her a lot and it makes me feel emotional – I love it”), Jodie’s versatile vocal delivery makes it feel like you’re listening in on a conversation. “It’s a bit more real. Honest. I like singing melodically but I’m not a big belter. You’ve got to be yourself, that’s very important.” For Ollie, it means he can work around what the songs need. “It gives a bit of space for Jodie’s personality to come through. You get that attitude. Sometimes when it’s a really beautiful production, then you miss the quirkiness of the emotion.”

“It feels relatable and fun,” continues Jodie. “Rather than songs that are just dance instructions.” Perhaps the best example of this is on future single Pink City, which juxtaposes a rolling drum N bass backdrop with big sweet melodies and biting lyrics. “I’d love to be in a situationship that progresses, but single Jodie is a wild card. We wrote Pink City to express how much I wanted to party but had no single friends to go crazy with.” Understandable. This frustration is echoed in the lyrics. ‘Always canceling our plans, said you’re chilling with your man’. “We still did nice things, it just rhymes better” laughs Jodie. “Essentially, Pink City is a going out anthem.”

Elsewhere, the DayGlo, gloriously soppy Bf: Gf “is about having a big fat crush on someone. That’s one of my favorites because it’s so silly. It’s just ‘I really fancy you’. When you’re obsessed with someone.” The flip side of that affection arrives in the shape of the dancefloor-ready Conversation, which recalls the bolshy Knock ‘Em Dead from Alright, Still. “I come out just for fun, not attention” sings Jodie, trying to bat away “some boring dude.” The electropop stomp of Dumb, meanwhile, tells the story of a shared glance on the tube, a budding romance, and then a crash back to reality. “I have severe daydream problems,” laughs Jodie. “That song is based on a story that happened in my head. I saw a fit guy on the tube and then I was staring into space and he’s taken my hand and has written his number on it. Then I snap back and it’s like ‘that’s so embarrassing’.”

While they’re still riding the wave of Poison Lover, and the shock of their first-ever time in the studio together being heard by so many people, the duo already have their sights set on the future. The hope is for Pink City to emerge this summer, making it the perfect soundtrack to sweaty nights out, the sofa be damned! But the plan is not to make too many plans, as Jodie explains: “We’re not trying to make a viral hit on TikTok. We’re not trying to be Radio One. We make a song that we think is really cool, and that’s it really. We’re catering to people who are like us and like that sort of music.” It’s a simple mantra, but one it feels like a lot of people are going to get behind.

Listen to this song and more emerging artists just like this one on “Discover”, playing Sundays at 10 am PT/1 pm ET on Channel R – Today’s Hits & Your All-Time Favorites.

Written by: Tara

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