Project Jenny, Project Jan's Sammy Rubin and Jeremy Haines tread a stomping ground filled with herky-jerky rhythmic dynamics, unfettered melodies and sonorous raps. "Pretend," a buried gem off the recent Home Sweet Home, is noteworthy for several reasons. For starters, the track presents a role-reversal of sorts, with Rubin vocalizing as Haines pulls double duty in the production booth. It succeeds on the surface thanks to the guiding hand of in-demand Brooklyn remixer Alan Wilkis and a touch of ominous atmospherics. The result is a rare breed in electronic music: a song that's sinister and warm at the same time.
"You can unplug me and dig my stitches out," Haines coos in a benumbed digital haze. As the narrator succumbs to a state of technological overload, a piercing siren wail cradles the downbeat with chilling intensity. For performance artists associated with electro-karaoke, this is no small feat. In "Pretend," Rubin and Haines have composed trenchant music for finding catharsis in modern society, while the earnest, Everly Brothers-style harmonies showcase the duo at its most vulnerable. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.