Welcome to The Fresh Squeeze, where every Monday and Friday, BLUNT gets down to the wire with an up-and-coming act we simply can’t get enough of.
In today’s shiny new edition, we get the juice on Korean-American emotronica luminary James Ivy, who truly threw caution to the wind when he endeavoured, mid-pandemic, to break out into an already niche scene with an even more niche collision of genres. But not only did the musical madman pull it off with rousing singles like ‘Yearbook’ and ‘Something Comforting’, he decided to swing even higher with his debut EP, the equally cruisy and kaleidoscopic Good Grief!
Running just a sliver over 15 minutes long, the five-track package brings us a ripping pop-rock rager, a soothing acoustic ballad, some dreamy indie-pop and even a tasteful hint of R&B swagger. Ivy has an incalculable measure of potential and a blindingly bright future ahead – and, hopefully, a longer record just over the horizon.
Who’s in your band, what do they play, and what would be your non-musical superpowers?
My band currently is just me, but I’m hoping to do some full-band shows with my friends this winter! If I could choose a superpower, I’d definitely go with telekinesis. But I feel like if I were to get a superpower, it would realistically be something less cool that relates to my personality, like the ability to eat an infinite amount of food or something… Which I wouldn’t be mad about either.
When you’re not tearing shit up on your instruments, what do you legends like to get up to?
Video games! I just started Bloodborne, picked up the new Warioware, made a MapleStory account, and also have been grinding Teamfight Tactics – all right before tour, so I have my hands full.
What would your hometown’s landmark be?
Definitely BagelNosh in Waldwick, New Jersey for me personally. I stopped there every morning on the way to high school for a Taylor ham, egg and cheese. Jersey doesn’t have a lot else to its name other than good bagels and Taylor ham.
What’s the usual first topic of conversation when you take a break at rehearsal?
“Did I sound like shit up there? I feel like I did…”
What’s your pre-show warm-up routine?
Tea, water, and anything to take my mind off of taking the stage. I get so nervous.
Tell us about your most memorable show, what made it so special?
I recently played a show with Harry Teardrop at Mercury Lounge. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like, but we ended up selling it out. It was the first time I’d ever played a show and the crowd sang my lyrics back at me. Crazy feeling.
What band would you most like to share the stage with and why?
Show Me The Body. I’ve binged all of their shows that are uploaded to YouTube.
What’s the most exciting album you’ve listened to recently?
If you could be endorsed by one company, who would it be?
Chipotle. Hit me up! I eat your food twice a week.
Why are you going to make it to the top over all the other contenders in the musical arena?
My music fuckin’ rules and I’m only gonna get better. It clicked.
Good Grief! is out now via FADER. Check out ‘Headset Go’ below, then click here to stream the full EP.