Album Review & Interview: Jaguar Sun – “This Empty Town”


Perdersi e viaggiare tra i sogni di un artista emergente e non troppo conosciuto non è mai così semplice, ma, fortunatamente, a questo giro ci capita Jaguar Sun, pseudonimo di Chris Minielly, che ci prende per mano e ci fa viaggiare tra i propri sogni grazie al suo brillante e  fresco album di debutto “This Empty Town”, uscito lo scorso venerdì per la Born Losers records.
Jaguar Sun cresce e inizia a suonare in Ontario , ma le sfumature del suo LP d’esordio, costituito da otto tracce davvero magiche, vengono fuori da un arrangiamento che fa parte di luoghi più caldi, estivi e rilassanti.
Le atmosfere presenti in “This Empty Town”, infatti, riscaldano i cuori di chi si fa trascinare durante questo viaggio e, ovviamente, lasciano grande spazio ai sogni ad occhi aperti.
L’album dell’artista canadese è caratterizzato da una Indie Pop davvero dreamy e catchy, elementi che lo rendono un esordio di facile ascolto e piuttosto rapido: è un peccato, difatti, che all’ottava traccia ci si renda conto che il nostro sogno e quello di Chris sia giunto al termine.
Sonorità avvolgenti unite a una voce delicata e rassicurante rendono questo “This Empty Town” per nulla vuoto, ma ricco di sfaccettature: le emozioni si alternano tra loro, creando un incontro-scontro tra aspetti più malinconici e altri legati alla spensieratezza.
Le armonie soffici, quasi palpabili, si alternano quindi a una certa vaporosità che la si vorrebbe afferrare e accarezzare con le punta delle dita: forse è proprio questo il punto forte dell’album sognante, il quale cerca sempre di mantenere un piccolo accenno di mistero, nonostante le liriche semplici e morbide che tentano di abbracciare e di rassicurare l’ascoltatore.



1. First, where are you from?
I’m from a small town in southern Ontario, Canada.

2. When and how did you start this music project?
I started Jaguar Sun back when I was in college for graphic design about three years ago. I was in my final year and wanted more time for music so I managed to turn recording into my thesis project as long I as did enough design work around it. It wasn’t until a year after graduation that I released my first set of songs though.
As for the name Jaguar Sun I must admit it was a result of me combining random words until something stuck. I just thought it sounded cool!

3. Which are your main influences?
I’d say my core influences (at least the bands that inspired me to start making music) were in the likes of Youth Lagoon, Panda Bear, Real Estate, STRFKR, Toro Y Moi, and early Coldplay, but I’ve also found that it’s really hard to pinpoint my influences these days. There’s so much good music out there and it’s so easy to come across new bands on Spotify now I feel like my influences are constantly changing from day to day.

4. How was produced your debut album?
I produced the album at home in my little makeshift studio. Jaguar Sun has always been a solo project so I recorded and produced everything there. I’m lucky enough to have a little space dedicated to music and design stuff (and video games) so I’d just escape there whenever I felt the need to record. The
technical side behind production is still beyond me though, I never really know what I’m doing but I manage to make it work! There’s a lot of trial and error.

5. Where do you start playing live?
I’ve actually only played one live show before, it was a little house show at a friends place. When I started Jaguar Sun I never thought about preforming, I didn’t think the project would take off in anyway so I put shows in the back of my mind. The thought of preforming more still makes me nervous, it definitely
doesn’t come naturally to me but I’m excited to get out there too, it’s something I’ll definitely be working on over the next year, I just have to get over that initial fear of starting!

6. How do you feel playing around? (Really hope to see you soon somewhere, in Italy or during a summer festival?
When I finally do get my live shows rolling I’d love to travel and play. Playing overseas would be surreal, I’m hoping it’s only a matter of time before I get to come through Europe!

7. What did you learn during this lockdown?
I think I learned how important friends and physical activity are to my creativity. I’m a natural introvert so the lockdown didn’t really affect me at first, I was pretty excited getting a new excuse to stay in and work on music.
But being stuck inside wasn’t as inspiring as I hoped it’d be, I think I find a lot more creative energy when I can go out and hang with friends or do something physical like rock climb on a regular basis. I definitely need that balance in my life.

8. “This Empty Town” is a brilliant debut album and you made it during the lockdown; how did you arrange it?
I actually finished the bulk of This Empty Town around the end of 2019 so lockdown didn’t really affect the creative process thankfully. It definitely influenced when I dropped the album though, it felt pretty natural releasing the songs when a lot of people were stuck inside and could use some more music to listen to. I really hope it helped boost some peoples moods during this time at least.

9. Could you tell me more about the lyrics? Do you want to transmit any message to your audience?
I think the largest lyrical theme on the album is bittersweet nostalgia. It’s largely based around my time growing up in the town I live in. A small town or any space you live in can look really empty from the outside but there’s so many memories engrained in that space from relationships to friendships to big life changes. I did my best to capture that idea on the album. I think writing bittersweet love songs just comes most naturally to me as well, I’m a sucker for nostalgia.



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