JR 18: MIDDLE NAME JOHN - Obviously Confidential 9 April 2024

Obviously Confidential cover art

More runaway train conductor than narrator, Middle Name John distils disillusioned poetry that oscillates between a purge of incisive social observations and a collection of elaborate indagations of subconsciousness, holding a two-way mirror into the personal and the collective. Obviously Confidential, his debut album, highlights the shortcomings of modern-day individualism and reminds us that perhaps the glimmer of hope at the end of the dark tunnel of human ugliness can only be achieved through empathy.

Recorded during times of simultaneous global pause and unrest, the album intentionally reflects the chaotic, confusing, and at some points, silly dialogues that happened both in the public and internal spheres.

Instead of enforcing solitude, Middle Name John embraced collaboration, bringing along multi-instrumentalist friends such as Alessandro La Barbera (Los Padres, Sans Soucis) and Max Mella (Aphty Khéa, Sheldon Agwu) as co-producers. On the final track ‘Too Much Too Soon’ you can hear the propulsive drumming of Marijus Aleksa (Joe Armon Jones, Oscar Jerome). The challenge of never being in the room with more than one person invited each collaborator to bring an individual edge to their respective tracks, turning the songwriting into a playful process where the toying around with cassette loops and effects pedals can be heard throughout.

Finding a balance between the multi-faceted creativity as a player, a writer, an observer, an activist, and a person, the anonymous creative Middle Name John emerges as a faceless expression of life’s uncertainty, continuing to showcase the expanse of his musicianship.

Middle Name John’s music is rooted in his belief in a future without oppressed people, poverty, war, borders or oligarchs. It allows unity to breed a reconstruction of our planet and its inhabitants. Obviously Confidential challenges the boundaries of genre while speaking to difficult and relatable topics with rich lyrical prowess.

The project also marks Juicy's return to physical releases, with a beautiful edition of 100 cassette tapes in recycled purple colour, with variant cover and exclusive artwork, pressed in collaboration with beloved London-label Slowfoot Records. You can buy via the artist's Bandcamp or our webstore.

And if streaming is more your thing, please pick your platform of choice here.

Check out the video for the album's first single below: