Alt-disco duo JJ & The Mood, made up of Cincinnati-based multi-hyphenate cartoonist Jack Sjogren and songwriter and producer Joey Joesph, releases their brand-new single, “Whatcha Need,” via Trailing Twelve Records.
The duo describes “Whatcha Need” as a song “about letting go of the unhelpful ways to try and protect ourselves and embracing our deepest truths.”
“Whatcha Need” follows on the heels of the pair’s debut single, “How Many Times,” and sees JJ & The Mood diving back into their disco and new wave roots. Imagine Mister Rogers fronting Talking Heads.
Sjogren, known for his work as a cartoonist, author, and animator, has been lauded by Oprah’s Book Club (Things I’d Do), Bustle, Real Simple, and celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
On their part, Joesph, fka Joey Cook, who was one of the founding members of the late aughts indie-pop band Pomegranates, has been self-producing records via their home studio, The Eyebrow Palace, since 2014.
Sjogren and Joesph originally met in Orlando, Florida but it wasn’t until years later, during an autumn 2019 session at The Eyebrow Palace, that they started laying the groundwork for what would become JJ & The Mood.
“Whatcha Need” rolls out on a thrumming bassline as Sjogren’s spoken-work vocals travel overhead. As the tune takes shape, heady flavors of disco with hints of new wave aromas infuse the harmonics with contagious upbeat surfaces.
Soft, glowing vocal harmonies imbue the song with gospel-like flavors. A dreamily braying saxophone adds delicious sighing tones to the solo section, followed by Sjogren’s spiraling falsetto.
Lyrically, “Whatcha Need” blends the smooth charm of a preacher with the luscious timbres of the best of ‘70s disco dance music.
“Water the root, enjoy the fruit / Now go on, shake that sweet caboose.”
JJ & The Mood have it going on! Brimming with delicious waves of feel-good motion, “Whatcha Need” is just what you need.