Jackie Giroux and Caelen Perkins have each other, by gosh, and yes it sounds squishy, but that’s enough. The high school besties turned indie-pop phenoms today released their second full-length, “Sunshine, I’m Counting on You,” via Lolipop Records.
The sunshine part is no hyperbole.
Not long ago, enthusing about one of their singles, we wrote that Jacklen Ro could charm graffiti off a wall. That applies to all of the 11-track pick-me-upper that is “Sunshine,” which is full of emotional high-fives. Beyond their penchant for sticky melodies, the duo wield their vocals, and especially their harmonies, in a euphoria that stops short (somehow) of sounding cloying. It’s cherub rock that is reminiscent of a straight-from-the-cradle Tegan and Sara.
“Made of Sugar” is the final single Jacklen Ro released before the album landed — on record, fully backed by drums, it qualifies as one of their bangers, but the song was equally impactful when they unveiled an acoustic version of it last year.
“‘Made of Sugar’ is about an on and off relationship from the perspective of someone who wants to get to the next level and be committed,” they says. “It’s the feeling of being let down by someone you thought you knew and could trust. It’s the cycle of addiction to empty validation.”
It’s exemplary of the album’s refreshing, unvarnished emotion — blue-sky feelings in a world where it’s become somehow cool to be sad, or at least to play that card. If there’s an album that’s salve for callouses of cynicism, “Sunshine, I’m Counting on You” is it. Apply liberally.
||| Watch: The video for “Made of Sugar”
||| Also: Watch the video for the title track
||| Also: Stream the album in its entirety
||| Live: Jacklen Ro celebrate their album release with a show tonight at Harvard & Stone. It’s free.