Sook-Yin Lee is a rare Canadian media powerhouse, and the former MuchMusic VJ and current actress/filmmaker/musician’s latest venture is an introspective album, ideal for an unbridled solo dance party.
The collaboration between Sook-Yin Lee and Adam Litovitz is an intimate project, concerned with minimalism, melody, and experimental recording techniques. JOOJ’s eponymous debut album took shape in the couple’s home studio, where all sounds are fair game—whether it’s chopsticks tapping on empty Chinese food containers as percussion, or an ambient vocal recording committed to an iPhone.
Named after a monosyllabic affectionate utterance they call each other, JOOJ is perhaps as mysterious to its band members as it may be to a first-time listener. “It strikes me that how this album came to be was through magic,” says Lee. “I don’t know how we did it!” Sook-Yin’s bewilderment with the end result speaks to a recording process that completely consumed the pair. Litovitz agrees: “What we work on might transform from something that makes us smile, to something that absorbs us.”
Experimentation may live at this record’s musical core, but there’s a naked familiarity in Sook-Yin’s vocals that makes the project profoundly accessible on an emotional level. Adam Litovitz took musical inspiration from Sook-Yin’s transparency. “I was influenced by the sadness, and comfort, and beauty, and singularity of her voice,” he gushes. “I could never make something this beautiful on my own.”
JOOJ’s “Ghost Of Love,” a song fixated on longing and nostalgia, gets an immersive rework courtesy of expert Toronto beatmaker Onakabazien. Stream the remix below:
JOOJ’s debut arrives on May 26th via Last Gang Records. Catch JOOJ performing live at Double Double Land in Toronto on May 29th.