Premiere: J. Graves Shares Two New Singles, “Marauder” and “Go It Alone” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, May 31st, 2023  

Premiere: J. Graves Shares Two New Singles, “Marauder” and “Go It Alone”

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May 25, 2022 Photography by Cai Indermauer
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Rising Portland indie punk outfit J. Graves made their debut in early 2020 with their EP Deathbed, crafting a potent combination of post punk, indie rock, and dance punk and evoking the heyday of bands like Interpol and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Earlier this year, the band returned with a new single, “Valentine,” their lead single from their forthcoming debut album, Fortress of Fun. Today they’re back with another pair of singles, “Marauder” and “Go It Alone,” premiering with Under the Radar.

“Marauder” and “Go It Alone” are very much cut from the same musical cloth, with both tracks seeing band members Jessa Graves, Kelly Clifton, and Aaron McDonald navigating through a musical maze of chugging guitars, skittering drums, and explosive instrumental breaks. Yet, both dart in subtly different directions structurally, with “Go It Alone” featuring a compulsive earworm chorus and “Marauder” building from a nervy and tense breakdown into a fiery climax. Meanwhile, the lyrics of each song similarly mirror each other, with each track shifting in tone and perspective as they examine the end of a tumultuous relationship.

With the accompanying videos, the band continues the story found within the video for “Valentine,” picking up after the band are transported to another world and have to divvy up the spoils of a magical chest. This time around though, the band have created their own makeshift choose-your-own-adventure story. Should Jessa choose the chainmail, the story picks up with the video for “Go It Alone” and if Aaron chooses the chainmail, the story diverts to the video for “Marauder.”

Jessa explains of the tracks, “I speak to Fortress of Fun and the songs and the imagery that fill its walls as if they were two planes running in parallel. The first of which is the music, because for me that’s what always comes first. ‘Marauder’ and ‘Go it Alone’ were both written around the same time - or I suppose I should say they were both finished around the same time. The chorus for “Go it Alone” lay dormant for almost a year before the rest of its structure was written into existence. Both songs were written at first from a different perspective that changed completely over time, changing their meanings entirely. ‘Marauder’ pointed at me only to end facing the opposite direction. ‘Go it Alone’ was pointed at another only to end with me looking in a mirror, mouthing the words to myself.

The visuals that accompany both songs are the first presented choice of the choose your own adventure. Who will wear the chainmail? Aaron or Jessa? To choose Aaron is to choose the video for ‘Marauder.’ To choose Jessa is to choose the video for ‘Go it Alone.’ Both are centered around a challenge, the commanding spell of the chainmail, and overcoming the fear with a little help from the ones you love. There’s much more to each sub plotline, but it’s best to leave some mystery and room for interpretation.

Check out the songs and videos below. Fortress of Fun is out everywhere later this year.


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