This past Friday saw the release of Terminus, the new album from Justin K Broadrick under his long-running project Jesu. Although there have been several Jesu collaborations and EPs in the last few years, it’s the first full length that Broadrick has made solo since 2013’s Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came. This return to working by himself has allowed him to burrow deeper into his sound, build a fortress of guitar all around him and create music via, as he describes it below, his own “damaged sense of melancholy pop music.”
Naturally, we were intrigued to know what influential ingredients went into the creation of Terminus, and the Jesu project as a whole. The results are both surprising and expected – but all top quality. What’s also intriguing is how much the visual element of many of these songs had an influence on him, recording them on VHS in the 80s to keep and re-watch.
Scroll down to see what Justin has picked, but ahead of that enjoy Jesu’s recent video for “Alone”.
Oasis – “Listen Up”
One of my many favourite songs by Oasis; raw intense pop. I was listening to it over and over again whilst completing a lot of the songs on Terminus. Amazing chords, structure, vocals and vocal melodies (which are even more amazing for the fact that the highs sound strained and really human). Totally effective simplicity. The last great pop punk band.
The Durutti Column – “The Missing Boy”
I was relatively late to The Durutti Column. They weren’t punk or confrontational enough for my tastes as a kid in the early 80s, although I was obsessed with the Factory Label. It took me until the 90’s to really love the project. The performance in this video has been an influence on Jesu since its inception. I bought the Factory VHS video in the early 90s which was my re-entry into The Durutti Column.
Section 25 – “New Horizon”
Another amazing Factory Records video. The atmosphere of both the song and video are a huge influence on Jesu. This captures something very British – and very Northern British – which essentially are my roots. Of course, it’s very Joy Division / New Order – without either, Jesu would not exist.
Pink Floyd – “Mother”
I can’t even listen to The Wall anymore, but it is a major part of Jesu. I don’t need to listen to it, how it lives in memory is all I need. I always saw Jesu as this album played at 1/4 the speed. I actually like other Pink Floyd music a lot more, but that is completely beside the point. I first heard this when it was released in 1979, due to my step father being a huge Pink Floyd fan. Even at the then age of 10, I found this album harrowing and couldn’t keep away from it. I also saw the movie with my step father and mum at the time of release, and found it equally upsetting, and my first real exposure to an enacted burn out at the hands of the music industry. “Mother”, I realised as I became older, reflected my relationship with my mum – very much uncomfortably so. Regardless of how overblown and pompous The Wall arguably is, it’s that sense of melodrama that speaks to me in volumes.
Babybird – “Invisible Tune”
[Baby Bird Recordings; 1995]
(Im)perfect pop magician and lo fi genius Stephen Jones devastated me for many years with his damaged 4-track pop gems. Raw and real. Too many to choose from, but all impact my own damaged sense of melancholy pop music.
Cocteau Twins – “Aikea-Guinea”
Explosive, beautiful and almost slow motion. The first Cocteau Twins video I recorded onto VHS at the time, 1985. Always an influence on Jesu.