Jimkata are a three-piece anthemic, synth-washed, electro-rock band based out of Ithaca. With a triumph of swirling analog synths, infectious pop hooks and candid lyrics, Jimkata have built a distinct sound which has been resonating with listeners across the country.
Friends since middle school, Evan Friedell, Aaron Gorsch and Packy Lunn infuse Jimkata, (named after the so-bad-it’s-good 1985 gym-fu caper Gymkata) with both an adventurous musical streak and relatable lyrical themes.
Mixed in with the modern synth sensibilities and hard driven indie rock are influences drawn from the likes of Motown, singer-songwriters like James Taylor and even old country songs, where storytelling and a quick turn of phrase share priorities with melody and the beat. Jimkata have concocted an unusually rich and rewarding mix and one that’s evolved naturally.
“There are two moments in the creative process that to me are the closest you can get to the divine – the moment of inception of an idea, when you’re first getting a song idea and start building out a demo.
Or when we’re collaborating in the studio and someone comes up with some brilliant new musical addition to something. It just feels like magic. The other moment is playing a good show where you feel on fire, the crowd is digging it, and you just feel like you’re in some kind of universal flow.”
After taking a two and a half year hiatus following the release of six studio albums and the successful building of a vibrant, grassroots fanbase, Jimkata are preparing to release their next album, Bonfires.
The single that anticipates the record is called “Roots Down” and was inspired by a chaotic time after a breakup that singer Evan Friedell experienced, where he found solace in looking up to his grandparents’ sweet and loving relationship with each other. Evan realized that he too can have that kind of peace when he finds the right person. The visuals feature the vibrant and distinct animation from artist K Lab.
The 10 track album is set for release as a series of singles every month with an accompanying visuals and merch line. Thematically, Bonfires touches on poignant themes of uncertainty, being in limbo, and looking for an anchor of hope in these trying times.
“This album came out of a time of great uncertainty. We had basically quit as a band, thinking we had failed or hit a wall we couldn’t overcome. Out of some stubborn determination and reaffirmation of my own purpose in this life as a musician, I kept writing and working on myself as a songwriter, singer and player.
I found some liberation in not knowing if this music would see the light of day, at least as Jimkata. I was just processing all the crazy trials and journeys I had experienced in the last ten years and having fun making beats. Eventually, Packy and I started working together and then Aaron joined back in the fold and bam, Jimkata was back!
We’re lucky we had all this positive reinforcement from people around us to help us realize we gotta keep going. We ended up getting back into the studio with our longtime friend and producer Jocko Randall and fully brought this album to fruition.”