After the Teardrop Girl-Star LP finally saw the light of day in 2017, Robin Jax opened up. Support slots with the likes of Alabaster dePlume, Thomas Truax and Madonnatron; a musical role in Room Art's Incidental; singing as a tenor in a choir alongside Wolfgang Buttress' BE Music (and 50,000 bees) in Coventry Cathedral; the launch of The Companions with musician/author Amber Bird - a relatively hyperactive burst of activity for someone whose studio debut took six years to complete and went through many pairs of hands.
All of the lessons and "Voila!" moments from these experiences come together on "Miroslava", the new single from Robin under his newly unmasked RobinPlaysChords alias. Recorded and mixed in-house, these two songs come from a similar sonic landscape to that of the Teardrop Girl-Star LP, despite both songs being born either side of that album's creation.
The newer song "Miroslava" is a self-described "Anglo-Ukrainian love song", inspired by Robin and Miroslava's own trans-European relationship. It throbs with tenderness, even whilst sung with fraught anxiety. The issues of distance, personal health worries and the various geopolitical considerations of the past few years have not extinguished their commitment to each other; it is unbroken, as Robin sings in the chorus, "even when my mind reacts like a stupid little child".
"Starsailor", on the other hand, has been on the fringes of the RobinPlaysChords catalogue for over a decade. It is "not scared" and unflinching in the face of a surrounding darkness. It is a song of intense empathy in a world seemingly absent of it.
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