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The danger with chucking out the verse-chorus-verse formula is that you might end up with a self-indulgent mess instead, the type of aimless noodling that gives jazz a bad name.

Adult Jazz (who don’t actually play jazz) risk falling into that trap on their debut album Gist Is. Songs unfold at length and progress in unpredictable ways, as with the way “Hum” opens with a solemn drone before digressing into stuttering drumbeats, distorted guitar and a merry blast of brass.

But the young Leeds fourpiece don’t lose their way amid all the variations, which, rather than being madcap or ironic, flow by in a meandering and often mesmerising fashion: the band cites Joanna Newsom’s Ys as an inspiration. Strong rhythms such as the churning drums in “Idiot Mantra” or the jittery art-funk of “Am Gone” keep our attention while Harry Burgess’s vocals are a high-wire act, a swooping and richly enunciated form of singing that stops just short of being too mannered.

Adult Jazz

Gist Is

(Spare Thought)

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