It’s hard to believe that Jump (formerly Jump, Little Children) are now on their fifth album. After being together for almost a decade (their indie debut, The Licorice Tea Demos was released in 1995), and having picked up and dropped by major label Atlantic, the group is putting out possibly their most mature and polished album to date.
Keeping with the melody and heart-driven sounds, but leaving behind much of their Irish and folk influences, Between the Dim and the Dark brings in more guitars and traditional rock noises of the ’90s. Matthew Bivins’ harmonica, mandolin and accordion are still present, as are Ward Williams’ dobro and cello. But this time around you may have to listen a little harder to notice when they surface before they dive back into the murky layers of rock and alt-pop sounds. Ironically, this could also be the group’s most commercial sounding piece of work, though the album is the first release after the split between Atlantic and the band.
But Jump still keeps its integrity while sounding radio-friendly and Top 40-worthy. On “Midnight” the piano sweeps the song in, with lyrics like “Forever is a dying myth / Forever is a lie” covering the intertwined acoustic guitar and keys with enough emotion to break your heart. The song fills the speakers slowly, with violins and cello pouring in like waves breaking down walls, swelling until it cannot be contained.
The album ends on an emotionally tugging number, “Daylight,” which is possibly the most poignant song on the album. Starting off with a plethora of strings, weeping like The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” and then bringing in the piano and Jay Clifford’s sweet, soft vocals, the song highlights the group’s diverse talents. Williams’ dobro and Bivins’ accordion fill every gap of the song, creating a heartbreakingly beautiful, unique piece of work.
Between the Dim and the Dark ends on one of those notes which let you know that, contrary to what their previous record label may believe, this band has plenty more to give the world.