Born in San Diego and currently based in LA, Julian Jasper is a Steely Dan for the 21st century, or maybe a lapsed Rundgren after he crossed paths with Ariel Pink. “2AM, Chinatown” sounds like Boz Scaggs on a dopamine bender, with Jasper distractedly strutting and bouncing from one disused phone booth to another looking for a connection. “I Don’t Mind” effortlessly evokes an early morning in a beach town: the deserted streets, closed-up burrito stands, the marine layer and its endless overcast coastal skies, terraces of bougainvillea, rhododendrons, and ice plant. His debut EP is the sound of someone talking to themselves, which is appropriate, because at the heart of the California dream is a sense of loneliness, an ugly isolation, an iron fist behind a sunny smile.
2AM, Chinatown/I Don’t Mind (Expanded Edition)
1. 2AM, Chinatown
2. I Don’t Mind
3. In The Lilacs
4. Wait Until Dawn