Photos by Briana Davis
Jai Wolf hit Minneapolis’ iconic First Avenue Nightclub Main Room on Sunday to promote his forthcoming EP, Kindred Spirits. With an impressive new AV setup and a few new tracks to boot, an intimate but dedicated crowd took it all in. Jai exuded confidence and genuine glee, dancing emphatically to his own tracks from behind what reminded me of a space ship command deck, an ever changing dashboard of light before him.
Jai played a mix of some of his more popular originals (“Indian Summer”, “Drive”, “Miss U”) and some impressive remixes of a wide array of artists (Odesza, Flume, Outkast, The Killers), but the show was perhaps best defined in his performance of some newer tracks; the first being a yet to be released track called “Gravity” from the EP. The once rowdy crowd stood hypnotized as he dropped the track laced with 80s inspired synth and serene vocals.
There was another great moment when he played his recent collaboration with pop vocalist MNDR, “Like Its Over”. It’s always a special moment when a DJ can effectively shift the mood downtempo and still captivate the crowd, and Jai Wolf succeeded on this front in spades. “Like It’s Over” is a song about finding solace in each other and embracing the unknown. This message couldn’t be more important in these uncertain times (read: this elections got me fucked up). Lately I’ve felt as if I’m afflicted with what could only be described as a metaphysical hangover. As MNDRS raspy yearning vocals soared to the rafters, so did much of my tension and anxiety. In a trance, I called out to the darkness before me, and felt reassured rather than panicked by the uncertainty. Thanks for the spaceship ride, Jai.
If the unreleased portion of this EP shapes up like the tracks he’s already teasing, we can expect some more great, hypnotic tunes with a Stranger Things vibe. It’s scheduled to drop on Nov. 18th.