Jasper Downey’s 2022 album ames, des moines, and other injuries

Jasper Downey’s 2022 album ames, des moines, and other injuries is unequivocally a hidden gem in the lo-fi music community. For my first piece on the blog, I wanted to write about something that excites me; something that intrigues me; something that ultimately inspires me and my own craft. I find all of these things within this unusual collection of songs. 

In the artist’s own words, due to doing no promotion for the record, it is unsurprising that ames, des moines, and other injuries has struggled until now to find listeners. Like many releases that are stumbled upon in this way, it is unfortunate this is often the case, as it is in no means indicative of the quality of music. For their next release, I would highly encourage the artist to promote their work, as I imagine this album shows just a small part of what this interesting artist is capable of. 

“just another beer disphit” is a wonderfully scuzzy wave of a song, sounding somewhere between Bladee and fellow lo-fi rockers, Knifeplay. “defective representation”, my personal favourite on the record, is drenched with video-game type synthetic bleeps, ethereal electric piano, and heavily autotuned vocals; the sound of the imagined Arca record produced entirely by Dylan Brady. It is a hypnotising listen, blending unsettling production styles with almost whimsical instrumentation. 

The record softens towards it’s climax. “cervical summer” takes dreamy lessons from once fellow lo-fi practitioners, Beach House; and “north skunk river vs. south skunk river”, puts the art of recorded spoken word through a chiptune filter. 

ames, des moines, and other injuries is an album unlike anything I have come across in recent months. Jasper Downey’s creativity is on full display, presented as an off-kilter representation of what can be done with a blend of a lo-fi aesthetic and poetry. I would highly recommend this album if you’re a fan of words, shoegaze, and alternative electronica. 

Written by Callum Folds