For his newest offering Kristian Jabs bids farewell to his Pessimist alias and says hello to Soft Boi, a new moniker that explores the inner monologue of his emotive counterpart.
A departure from the heavy weight bass productions he's known for under the former, Jabs uses Soft Boi as a medium to dissect dating in the modern world; from the hours spent scrawling through apps and the loneliness of self-obsession to modern masculinity and objectification. A concept album at its core, So Nice transmits Jabs' aversion to modern life and love through twinkling synth lines and loose drum patterns, at times layered with his own short narratives.
Following its release on Berlin-based imprint Climate of Fear, he unpacks each track on the album and the processes behind them.
Saying Hi To You
What a lovely way to say hello init? This was the last track I made for the album, I decided I needed a proper intro, almost like a title sequence in a movie. I guess the intro is almost 80s movie sounding, those sustained strings along with Rhodes keys gives it that feel. I just wanted to make something to introduce the rest of the album. No grand concepts here.
Fais Moi La Guerre Feat. Nastychong
One of the ‘bangers’ of the album. This one came about from talking to a friend of mine (Nastychong) and realising she had a very cool voice and accent that would fit really well with some of my music. So we decided to go ahead and try and incorporate her voice into the track I was currently working on which had this sick Ternary form (A-B-A-B). Those strings on one 8bars and then the jungle/hardcore vox on the other 8bars. It lended itself perfect for two different vocalists.
Something To Say
This one’s concept was inspired by frustration. A familiar feeling of not knowing how someone else feels about you but at the same time not wanting to let them know how you feel yourself. Pride, confusion, frustration and moments of immaturity are themes that run through it. It’s stupid. But we all do it, others keep this going longer than some probably. Note the actual music of the track is like the most serious and almost moody, it’s frustration and confusion, that’s at least what I’ve tried to portray here.
For A Moment
This is a very sarcastic track to me. “My darling, I’ll be waiting for you”, “I’ll love you, until I die”. It was nice to make something without my own vocals for the album, a bit of a breather from listening to my voice droning over and over again.
One of the few tracks off the album I’d actually like to hear in a club. It’s a proper minimalist track, I think there’s literally only like 5 layers on this one but it’s super effective and gets the point across. The lyrics were inspired by being in a toxic situation… “just run away from ….”, it’s purposely been left ambiguous as I wanted to make it relatable, it seems so many people end up in toxic situations, relationships and friendships, it’s part of the modern world we live in, where social media, online dating etc are the ways we sometimes meet new people and often not the right ones.
This track shouts summer to me. It’s also perfect for leaving on whilst you’re chilling at home. I wanted to create a paradox between the beauty of nature, that sunny vibe and birds singing against the often self destructive, fragility of the modern human, which is reflecting in the distorted, dusty vocal and it’s lyrics. Sounds like I have a really dim view of people, which totally isn’t my view, but I do have huge concerns on the way we sell ourselves online and within society. We do it to a point where it can cause mental health issues.
This was actually the last track I made for the album. I’m really proud of the arrangement and also the lyrics. It’s a middle finger tune to all those that conform to social hierarchy, and a personal feeling of being fobbed off and not properly understood. I’ll leave it at that.
Another non vocal track. I recorded these drums on the keyboard, when I was young I used to have some old Roland keyboard that I used to play the drum kit on, via the keys. I used to jam with my brother playing the guitar. This was me reminiscing back to those times, we used to find it funny, playing the drums on a keyboard. I wanted to create a proper interlude style track here, almost like, you’ve taken a break and the show now continues - like you sometimes get at the cinema. It would be cool to hear a full band play this one, maybe I’ll try organise it one day. But these interlude tracks are always a lot of fun for me. Usually when I write an album I have a good 4 or 5 tracks as the main bulk and that’s when you start figuring out how to thread each of these tracks together in order to create something cohesive and something that has a narrative, these interludes are always a really fun process of trying to achieve that, thinking of your music in more than a track by track sense but more of a whole body of work.
This was the first track I made for the album. I decided this album was going to be called ‘So Nice’ straight away, it was a perfect fit because Soft Boi isn’t so nice really, he’s actually a bit of an asshole. The album itself was all made extremely instinctively, I made the bulk of the album, in just over a week. That was essential to really capture each mood I was feeling at that very moment into the track I was working on. This track was my first experiment, this was all about doubt, not knowing whether to go for what you want or not.
This is my personal favourite, I love the style of the music, it has a lot of depth and it’s probably the most abstract out of the bunch. The lyrics are plain and simple but I’m quite proud of the simplicity…. It reflects the fickleness of fragility. “I dunno whether to see you again… fuck you then”. People all too often put pride before what’s right and can second guess someones else’s intentions, so the “fuck you then” is like, fuck you in case you don’t actually want to see ME again.
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