Album Review: GARAGEB& by Jesse Rutherford


Kernel Opinions Sig

Autumn Miller

The Neighbourhood’s front man, Jesse Rutherford, released his second solo album titled GARAGEB& on April 12. Rutherford made his first solo debut on SoundCloud under his solo project name “The Factoury”. Many of the songs featured on his SoundCloud are traditional SoundCloud rap, but he somehow makes it sound like some of the best SoundCloud rap out there.

The Neighbourhood have always had an alternative pop/rock sound. Whenever I think of the band, I think black and white, effective use of instruments and an overall cohesiveness in their music. Rutherford has completely switched this around with his solo music. He has created an image and sound for himself different from The Neighbourhood but has managed to also keep some of the same features associated with the band.

A reoccurring theme with all of Jesse’s music is the electronic feel to them. Also, handmade beats, original lyrics, themes in his songs that are specific to him and his fandom. He can set himself apart from other SoundCloud artists and separate himself from the band as well. Being an alternative artist, it’s amazing he was able to dive into the hip-hop game effortlessly.

There were a couple of things I noticed before even listening to the album. One was that he incorporated The Factoury’s signature “&” symbol in the album title. Rutherford’s debut solo album was titled &, that symbol is something that has a greater meaning to me now. After the album was released, I got the & tattooed on my ankle and one of my best friends also has it on her middle finger. I loved that he continued that and turned the word garage band into GARAGEB&.

This new album has to be my favorite project released by Rutherford. He’s been so creative with his new stuff, sound, lyric and aesthetic wise. I was extremely surprised to find out that Jesse made 10 out of the 12 sounds on the GarageBand app. That made me love the album even more and the creative title perfectly ties everything together. Along with the album release, Jesse is also going on his first tour as The Factoury with Goody Grace and Hearts <3.

Rutherford has really set the stage and has become an inspiration for self-made artist. All you need to make a great album is a mic, some creativity, a couple apps and a lot of passion. You can hear that in every song on GARAGEB& and Rutherford is continuing to change the SoundCloud rap game.