Mr. Jukes & Barney Artist – The Locket review

Moonlighting (The ancient term for doing something else other than your day job) can feel so good; this can surely be the best explanation for why so many artists jump on to different projects seemingly at the drop of a hat. Jack Steadman more than survived the end of Bombay Bicycle Club‘s three year hiatus, but the alternative feel of his solo project Mr. Jukes which began during it with 2017’s God First has evidently been an itch that needed scratching again.

For it’s follow up he’s enlisted the help of East London rapper Barney Artist and The Locket, rather than being a simple diversion for idle creative hands between arena tours, was made with a very specific purpose. For Steadman the intent was to “Bring hope to people after the maddest year” following what felt like an eternity in the grip of the pandemic, and to do that the duo have produced a record which fuses soul, jazz and hip hop along with some mercurially laid back vibes.

It’s a noble if bold mission and by and large, a successful one. On tracks such as Blowin’ Steam and the groovily swinging Vibrate their main influences – the Native Tongues collective, J Dilla – are to the fore, whilst Déjà Vu slower jams through trippy goodness. At it’s best on the love at first verse tale Poems, you sense The Locket was possibly as cathartic to make as it is to listen to, but we all deserve a little time off – and you could do worse than put your guard down and unwind in the backyard glow on offer here.

You can read the full review here.