Lupin reveals two new tracks & videos for ‘VAMPIRE’ & ‘MURDERER’ taken from debut album LUPIN out October 9 via Transgressive Records.
Latest Transgressive Records signing Lupin reveals ‘Vampire’ and ‘Murderer,’ two new tracks from his upcoming self titled album, produced by BJ Burton - right hand man of Bon Iver, and trusted producer for the likes of Charli XCX, Empress Of and many more.
Although Jake Luppen rose to prominence as a vocalist and guitarist in St. Paul’s beloved indie outfit Hippo Campus, the songs of his debut solo album Lupin feel like meeting him for the first time. He puts it succinctly:
“With this record I wanted to get to the point, and say how things were, as opposed to dancing
Today’s tracks arrive alongside two new videos, both directed by frequent Bon Iver collaborator Aaron Anderson - giving fans a more in-depth look at the complexities of the album. Both tracks deal with some heavy emotional liftings and reveal a new depth to Luppen not only as a musician but a songwriter.
‘Vampire’ touches on Jake’s surreal experience when he was told about a lump in his brain.
"I was fully under the impression that I was dying when I wrote this – I had gotten a CT scan a couple weeks before that revealed a mass in my brain, which led me to believe that I had brain cancer or some form of Parkinson's. When you’re reminded of your morality there’s a recklessness that creeps up.
I found myself willfully doing things I knew I would end up regretting.”
Whilst ‘Murderer’ deals with death of a different kind, the painful ending of a long term relationship and part of the moving on process.
“I had been living alone in a house that I used to share with my ex, so the lyrics were inspired by all of the things she left behind. One day I literally packed everything that reminded me of our relationship into boxes and shoved them in my closet. It felt like a funeral."
The two new tracks come off the back of the previously released ‘May’. The song is a funk-driven, colossal pop gem with crashing drums that digs even deeper into Luppen’s well-documented pop sensibilities and is perfectly complimented by BJ Burton’s own sonic palette.
Lupin has a dynamic brightness. Inspired as much by Charli XCX’s Pop 2 as it is Tears for Fears, ‘80s new wave, and Prince, the genre-bending record holds true to a desire to make ‘80s music filtered through modern technology. Featuring synth and programming contributions from Buddy Ross, one of Frank Ocean's primary collaborators, who has also worked with Troye Sivan, HAIM, Carly Rae Jepsen and more, as well as additions from Jim E Stack, who has likewise worked with HAIM, Empress Of, Caroline Polachek and more. Lupin weaves together fragmented drum loops, swooning falsetto, tangles of synths, and sharp guitar-lines, the final product is an off-kilter pop-sheen, one Luppen said was guided more by intuition and feeling than anything else.
For Lupin, the process of making the record was one of self-discovery and a path to confidence, learning who he could be – and had always been – as both an artist and simply a person. In the past, he always took a vaguer route to songwriting, eschewing the personal in favor of broader, shared experiences of his bandmates. Striking out as a solo artist allowed him the space to do the opposite. Instead of hiding behind bigger words or looser ideas, here Luppen finds the bravery to write about his life – a serious break-up, a health scare, sexual exploration, and discovering his own personhood – with incisive specificity.
Written mainly in breaks during a sprawl of 112 shows for Hippo Campus’ Bambi from 2018-2019, Lupin was an unexpected path to confidence. It also offered an escape from the grind of endless touring and a way for Luppen to process major and stressful life events directly through songwriting. Like ‘Lazy,’ one of the first major break-throughs of the record, which deals with depression destroying self-image and struggling to build a new support system in the wake of a break-up.
Working alongside producer BJ Burton, the two spent intensive sessions collecting material, coalescing as many layers felt true to serve the songs. That feels particularly apparent on the chaotic, penultimate ‘Gloomy,’ a wild mish-mash of delicate banjo samples atop giant explosions and flubby Juno synths reflective of Luppen’s internal turmoil at the time. Or the glitching, loping ‘K-O Kid,’ loose, off-the-cuff feel, an improvised vocal melody unfurling over a long-held guitar line.
For Luppen, the learning curve of producing his own record, of being singularly at the helm of his sound for the first time felt vulnerable -- as did writing so explicitly about his struggles. In making the record, he reconciled that it was OK to be himself, to be weird, to make mistakes and enjoy the parts of himself he didn’t usually get to indulge.
“I spent a lot of time thinking I had to hide behind other people or other things, but I realized, ‘No, I’m fully capable of doing this myself, I’m fully capable of having this vision.”
“I didn’t think that I was but no, there was this whole other part of myself I’d been stowing away out of fear this entire time.”
Lupin - Lupin LP