jj: jj no. 3

Artist: jj

Title: jj no. 3
Release date: March 9
Label: Secretly Canadian

If you've ever found yourself up late at night and unable to sleep, you've probably resorted to flipping channels. Of course, you never find anything worth watching at 2:30 a.m., but sometimes those damn infomercials will find a way to hook you.

Now, if you've ever seen that infomercial for the Stockholm Breeze Aromatherapy and Swedish Spa kit (which includes bath salts, candles, vials of lavender, and CD of relaxing music), you've probably heard the music of the dream-pop duo jj.

The light-as-air dream pop of this Swedish band is what makes that informercial watchable -- that and the shots of beautiful Lake Mälaren and the majestic 13th-century Ridderholmskyrkan building. The ethereal, distant female vocals gently float out of your speakers to set the mood for a relaxing, candlelit soak in the tub. The spacey synthesizers provide texture, and evoke the soothing feeling you have after a restorative Swedish massage. And the sparse percussion lends just enough weight to keep the whole thing from drifting away into the night.

If you like baths and/or Enya, you will love jj. Or your money back.

Best song: "You Know," a straightforward 2 minutes, 50 seconds of bouncy pop.
Rotation: Low
Deja Vu: A Scandinavian Enya
I'd rather listen to: Abba Gold
Grade: C-

"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 40-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

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