Won Ton Death is the experimental pop project of New Haven musician Jake Gagne. Recently, Gagne has released their new EP, Bean.
Bean is an impressive new release from the New Haven artist. Recorded in various locations from Connecticut to New York to Massachusetts over the course of 2014 to 2019, the album is somewhat defined by its eclectic mesh of components, digital, organic, and emotional. Featuring complex arrangements of synthesizer, samples, piano, reverberated swells, and funky bass guitar, these irregularly structured tunes are held together by Gagne’s palpably emotive singing, genuinely strong melodies, and a frequently underlying sense of groove.
If there is somewhat of a clubby otherworldliness to the music of Won Ton Death, it also carries an emotional poignancy that resonates on a deeper human level. Beyond the splatter-paint-esque variation of the arrangements, there is a melancholy that looms heavy throughout its scattershot beats and danceability. On second half highlight, “A Letter From Bean”, a single refrain resonates: “I’ll never show you my real body / Baby, I’m sorry”. It is one of the most solitary moments of a song that I can recall in recent memory, and it will stick with me as much as the music itself.
The song “A Letter From Bean” can be found on CT Scramble’s 2019 Spotify Playlist. Check it here.
Listen to Bean by Won Ton Death on Bandcamp and Spotify below: