Lupin is the sound of an arrival. Across eight tracks of subverted, expansive pop, Jake Luppen’s solo debut is all sharp edges, a fractured self-portrait pieced together through left-of-center, pop maximalism.
Today, along with the news of the album, Lupin is unveiling a first listen to his new sound in the form of May. The lead single 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 producer BJ Burton’s (Bon Iver, Charli XCX, Banks) own sonic palette. In explaining the track, Jake Luppen tells us:
"I had been clinging to the past in my relationship at the time, grappling with the realisation that our young expectations of what our future should look like might not actually work out. Or rather shouldn’t work out. This song focuses on coming to terms with that."
The video, a rotoscoped fever dream befitting the song’s kaleidoscopic energy, was made by animation guru Adam Fuchs. Known for his work as creative director at Adult Swim, he has also collaborated with Captain Murphy, Neon Indian, Little Dragon and more. Commenting on the visuals, Fuchs reflects "May is a beautifully crafted colorful song with peaks and valleys that aren’t so common and yet extremely creative. I wanted to capture that same feeling visually. At times, Lupin is lost in a vivid chemical formation of boiling uncertainty and yet being able to embrace who he is."
Although Luppen rose to prominence as a vocalist and guitarist in St. Paul’s beloved indie outfit Hippo Campus, the songs on 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 around them."
For Luppen, 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 favour 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.