Leave it to Jarvis Cocker — the man who became famous for writing a song based on a trip to the grocery store with a Greek heiress — to rhyme “claustrophobia” and “disrobe ya,” as he does on his new single, “House Music All Night Long.” Cocker, the cheeky exhibitionist frontman of Brit-pop powerhouse Pulp, announced this week that he’s back with his first new album in 11 years, titled Beyond the Pale, out May 1st. Cocker is releasing the record under Jarv Is, his aptly titled band that, after dropping 2006’s Jarvis, shows the singer is clearly into himself (but, to be fair, so are his legions of fans).
“House Music All Night Long” isn’t quite as self-deprecating as “Must I Evolve?,” the first single that’s a call-and-response reaction to modern rhetoric. Instead, “House Music” is a dreamy dance track that imagines the club genre as a background for domestic routine. His lyrics are just as snarky and innuendo-laden as they were in Pulp, but at 56 years old, he’s “fully grown,” and now he’s creating house music for his fellow Gen X’ers, who might prefer to listen to it in their plush living rooms than out at a rave.
Beyond the Pale came together unusually, writing songs in “collaboration” with the audience, like a comedian might try out jokes at comedy clubs before recording their Netflix special. After forming to play Sigur Ros’ Iceland festival in 2017, they recorded a set at Desert Daze in California and followed that up with plenty of studio overdubs — creating what 40 years ago would have been called a live album. In typical Cocker fashion, he lets his sound evolve while staying true to his cocky self.