Section: Arts

Jackfruit is a fresh, queer and honest voice in bedroom pop

Jackfruit is a fresh, queer and honest voice in bedroom pop

Jackfruit’s debut EP, when they find your body, was released Feb. 5, 2021. The EP is four songs. | COURTESY OF JACK BRAUN

In their new single “I had gay sex with god (it could’ve gone better),” New York City-based artist Jack Braun ’24, known as “Jackfruit,” establishes themself as your new favorite “queer kid bedroom pop” sensation. Jackfruit, who uses he/they pronouns, is faithful to bedroom pop’s beloved conventions with intimate vocals and contemplative, confessional and clever lyrics. 

The subject matter of his discography spans an array of topics such as heartbreak and, in his single “blacknailpolish,” queerbaiting. In the song, he emphasizes the harmful nature of the frequent performativity of today’s TikTok “femboys,” opening with the lines, “You bought black nail polish at a CVS / So you could look cool in front of all your dinner guests.” His discography consistently takes on a young, queer and honest voice. 

Jackfruit’s new single portrays an unhealthy relationship from the perspective of a speaker who refers to their abusive partner as “God.” Their relationship is depicted through the running religious references, which make for moving moments, such as the lines, “But now god won’t return my texts / I guess he was only out for sex / As close to heaven as I’ll get,” which, in Jackfruit’s words, is “about intimacy with a divine spirit being the closest you can get to divinity yourself.”

“I had gay sex with god (it could’ve gone better)” is also one of the four tracks making up Jackfruit’s latest release and debut EP, when they find your body. The EP, written and released in February, blossomed with the help of the artistic community that persisted at Kenyon during the fall semester and served as a creative “incubator,” as Jackfruit puts it. At the time, the intimate nature of music had proven to be especially valuable in creating a sense of connection during a time of social isolation. Jackfruit’s EP provides the feeling of a communal space for people in quarantine during the pandemic.  

In an interview with the Collegian, Jackfruit spoke about the complex relationship between artists and listeners; he said that the experience of having others interact with his work and form independent relationships to his art and voice was something he never could have fully understood until he had gone through it himself, and that he knows that “music is such a unifier.”

Though when they find your body certainly feels fully realized on its own, Jackfruit also refers to it as a period of growth. They explained that through the process of writing, recording and producing it, they moved from a phase of seeing music as an option or dream to an actualized “making music phase.” They also cited having their song added to the popular playlist of Claud Mintz, another musician who they regard as a “real” artist, as helping them begin to better recognize their own legitimacy. Jackfruit, owning their status as a musician, says that, moving forward, they hope to continue to build up their discography by working on “longer-term projects” that are even more “fine tuned.” 



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