Jackie’s House

Jackie’s House

Joshua Virtue is both the proletariat and the vanguard. Two weeks into the Covid-19 crisis, they posted: “Hey I know no one gives a shit about music rn but I’m very angry at the government and my mom, grandma, and little sister in Florida have no income. I’m putting together a rather caustic album at the speed of light to support them in these trying times.” Two weeks later, Jackie’s House drops on Bandcamp, proceeds going directly to their mother with the encouragement for listeners to donate directly to her Venmo or Cash App (@jacqueline-virtue and $JacquelineVirtue, respectively).

Jackie’s House, Cover Art by Elisabeth Sclawy-Adelman

This record is revolutionary. It is mutual-aid. But it doesn’t sacrifice hooks for message. In fact, Jackie’s House is an outright BANGER. The album begins slowly, hypnotically, until the toms of “Boxspring” hit and rip it apart like your peaking. Virtue’s lyrics enter like a skipping-rhyme. Tenacity weaved throughout. “Squirrel” hits with Paul Revere energy, “if you ain’t with the revolution steer clear,” but the warning is self proclaimed: “wake up, America, we’re here!” Their clarion call is not a demand, but a threat, to all those who have allowed for this precarity, to put the powers that be on warning. In epic repetitions, the final salvo: “I swear to God I’ll take the mtherf*kers with me though.” They’ll put the whole movement on his back if necessary.

Tracks like “Fenti Face” and “Phil” (featuring everyone’s favorite uncle, Rahim Salaam) warm like summertime. Porch-packers just waiting for shelter-in-place to be lifted and the kids to fill backyards with beer and exuberance. “12 Million Wulong!” features fellow WHY? Records footsoldiers Ruby Watson and Malci in solidarity against those who “cross the street when you see ‘em begging for something to eat / just like a Colonizer would.” A perfect Covid companion, Jackie’s House encompasses the strange times we find ourselves in. Remaining as catchy and vital as all of Virtue’s work has been, this record is more focused, strung on a tighter leash, effortlessly fluctuating between the fight of the day and the party for the future.

Buy Jackie’s House on Bandcamp!