In the middle of January we have days of warmth that act as a break from the particularly harsh winter that plagues the East Coast. Fortunately just a few days before Jake Lazovick of the musical project Sitcom had sent me his upcoming album. This served as a new set of tunes that I could fully absorb while on my walks again. He’s now based in Philly, so when he came down to DC one weekend it was the perfect opportunity to gather more about his background and how the evolution has reached the project, Sitcom.
We met up at the Hirshhorn Gallery in DC and first exploring the levels and artwork within we stopped at the Ed Atkins video exhibit, an activity he mentions in the new record. We settled in the sculpture garden to talk about his origins and how it laid the groundwork for his new album, Be The One You Love.
I’m always interested in how music enters peoples lives. Jake recalls a memory of being just four years old singing to NSYNC songs. It’s clear that it didn’t stop there because just a few years later at seven he recalled a memory of Tom Delonge and the Blink 182 album Enema of the State, and thinking “Man, I want to be him. I want to be a musician.” In around 4th and 5th grade he joined bands that had full lineups and began writing songs.
I first saw Sitcom live about two years ago and at first it was perplexing to say the least. Was it performance art to music, or something to be absorbed as a whole? This is a question that I was dying to ask Jake since in those two years I’ve noticed more of a concentrated view on social media and music videos that are taking shape. In a perfect description of his visuals he says, “imagine if Jack Nicholson in The Shining was also Bob Saget from Full House”. That blend of a super good guy with an evil side. Put together but not explained. His live shows pay homage to Andy Kaufman, one of his main influences as an “art-making role model”. He describes him as mundane and sloppy-which is a perfect characterization to describe his live show. “It took me a minute. I’ve shed a bit of my performance style as I mature. The way I perform, I needed to communicate that visually and document it and contain it for others to see”. This leads into his captivating music videos.
Sitcom in 4 words: “ goofy, violent, sad,
Still Life, the first video from the album is like looking through a kaleidoscope on acid -but in a good way. One aspect of Sitcom that I like is that the music is indescribable. You can’t pin it to a specific genre because it takes elements of indie rock, hip-hop, and spoken word experimental grooves. We are truly stepping into a different corner of the Sitcom project with each visual aid.
While this is the third full length album from the band, it is the most concise and he wanted this album to be something that you can put on while listening to your friends, not just an album that just had to be experienced live. This definitely comes across in the album as the title track “Orange Slice”. Jake says it is part of a recurring metaphor; as the song “feels like sunshine”. There are two interludes “Jacob’s Interlude” and “The One You Love”, which help to propel the motion of the album, something so rarely found in full lengths today. Songs are laced with laugh tracks and feature a variety of collaborations. Adding even more to the extensive range in genres. The concept of self-love and existentialism round out the album. “It’s positive to go through angst and sadness; it’s all part of the self-love story.”
The new album tells a new story for Sitcom, but upon a deeper listen you get inside the head of Jake Lazovick and it’s a rabbit hole you’ll surely enjoying venturing down.
Be The One You Love- released 24 February 2018
Follow Sitcom on