Topshelf Records has teamed up with Tiny Engines for the release of a split 7" between Gainesville, Florida's emo/punk four-piece band Dikembe and Kutztown, Pennsylvania's indie rock quintet The Jazz June. This record marks the first release by The Jazz June in over a decade. "Over Underground," The Jazz June's contribution to the record, is the first recorded material by the band since their 2002 album Better Off Without Air. And while this particular song is slightly different than what The Jazz June's fans have come to expect over the years, with a decidedly more indie pop and quasi-punk sound as opposed to the choppy guitars, inventive riffs, interesting time signatures, and more intense vocal delivery (The Boom The Motion and The Music and The Medicine), it is still unmistakably them, and as such an important piece of music.
"Healer of the Pride" is Dikembe's track on this little platter. For a band that has only been doing their thing for a few years, Dikembe are a fine addition to a scene whose predecessors, like Braid, Cap'n Jazz, The Promise Ring, Jawbreaker, Small Brown Bike and Mineral, left some pretty big shoes to fill. Like The Jazz June, however, Braid has reunited to write and record a brand new album titled No Coast, and Small Brown Bike released their Fell & Found album a few years ago on No Idea Records. Dikembe are also a credit to the current scene, in which bands like The Hotelier, Into It Over It, Donovan Wolfington, Sundressed, You Blew It!, Touché Amoré and The World Is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die meet the old standard and keep the genre moving forward.
This split is a little taste of Dikembe before the release of their sophomore LP, which is due out this summer on Tiny Engines. The Jazz June are at work on a brand new full-length album as well, which will be released on Topshelf Records on a date that is yet to be announced.
The Dikembe and Jazz June split 7" is scheduled for a July 1, 2014 release. And it is available for pre-order from Topshelf Records now.