From hyperpop to shoegaze: Jane Remover’s “Census Designated” review

Photo by Brendon Burton

As a major name in the hyperpop genre, Jane Remover is making waves with her captivating production and introspective lyrics. With the release of her sophomore album “Census Designated”, she is redefining genres and revealing a new depth to her abilities as an artist. 

Previously known by aliases including Leroy, Dltzk, C0ncernn and H8P8GE, the artist has created groundbreaking music across a wide variety of genres, from indie rock to shoegaze to glitchcore. 

The 20-year-old artist based in New Jersey began producing and releasing music on SoundCloud from her bedroom in 2019. Under the name Leroy, Jane Remover pioneered “Dariacore”, a hyperpop microgenre that began with her album of the same name. 

In 2021, Jane Remover released her debut studio album “Frailty” through deadAir, a record label that has signed similar artists such as Quannnic and Quadeca. The album is hailed as a monumental moment for digicore that redefined the limits of the genre. “Frailty” is highly experimental and masterfully combines elements of emo, hyperpop and indie rock. 

Jane Remover announced her newest album “Census Designated” on August 23, 2023, releasing the single “Lips” on the same day. Before its release, fans got a preview of the album’s concepts through the aforementioned “Lips” and the title track “Census Designated”. 

In a press release, the artist explained that the album is a result of her evaluation of her self-destructive tendencies after a night stuck in a blizzard while traveling cross-country. “I am painfully self-aware, and it leads me to ruin like 90% of the experiences and memories I make. So I guess going through a near-death experience made me want to stop ruining things for myself.”

In contrast to her previous work with digicore and glitchcore, “Census Designated” embraces an atmospheric shoegaze style combined with bedroom pop and noise rock. The shoegaze genre is characterized by rock that blurs vocals and instrumentals. 

Jane Remover told Stereogum that “Census Designated” is a “darker, more difficult sophomore LP, and she explores a dark post-rock style throughout the album. 

The album is filled with dark, heavy lyrics through which Jane Remover addresses the ways she has been used and mistreated, both in relationships and the music industry itself.

The title track “Census Designated” is an example of the album’s heavy content, describing an artist’s toxic relationship with her lover, which seems to be a metaphor for the exploitation of young artists that takes place in the music industry. Lyrics like “Earn ’em money like a man /  

‘I’m barely legal,’ told him as I spent all my advance” seem to compare the power imbalance in a relationship with an older man to the power imbalance between new artists and major labels. 

The track “Lips” describes a toxic relationship, potentially discussing the cycle of abuse. The lyric “Take a knife up to the belly, slide it up to where he kissed me / The blood dries overnight and I wake up feeling fine” seems to address how victims often minimize what they experience, ignoring the pain that they are feeling.

“Holding a Leech” also addresses love and a broken relationship, this time telling the story of someone trying to fix the way she has hurt her lover. “I’m in hysterics, throwing up “I love you, please don’t leave, I can fix it / And it’s hard for you to tell if I mean it” portrays true desperation, pleading with her lover to stay and allow her to mend the relationship.

Throughout the album, the evolution of Jane Remover’s production and songwriting is evident. In contrast to the fast-paced, high-pitched style that characterized her past songs, “Census Designated” is made up of slower, more lyrical songs that frequently extend beyond the 6-minute mark. 

Many of the songs feature a slow buildup that culminates in an explosion of noise, with tracks like “Video” and “Contingency Song” featuring guttural screams that truly express the depth of emotion within these songs. The album centers around raw emotion that immerses the listener in what Jane Remover was feeling during the creation of these songs. 

Overall, the sophomore album “Census Designated” reveals the dramatic progression of Jane Remover’s talent as a singer, songwriter and producer. Her intense lyrics combine with the heavy shoegaze style and create an immersive experience for every listener. 

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