Before Anton Sword, there was Anphibius – half of the NYC-based, Europe-trotting duo J.C. & Anphibius that crept across stages from 1999-2006 purveying their special brand of “Uneasy Listening” Music. Now the duo has made their music available again (oh no!) on Bandcamp. https://jcandanphibius.bandcamp.com/
J.C. and Anphibius met in the frog pond of New York’s Lower East Side in the 1990s after seeing each other play in their respective bands Glim and Individual Fruit Pie. After a shy courtship they elected to croak in unison, and so began to write newly hatched songs of love found and mislaid. From 1999 to 2006 the duo wove and spread their melodic but minimal skein of sound across the Atlantic, where it caressed both shores several times, triggered some delicate ripples, and slowly sank beneath the waves without a murmur. It left in its tiny wake only a hush, a sigh, a small puddle on a table, and 3 CDs.
J.C.‘s fetishistic tales of love, lost love, and self-love combine a fragile melancholy with a naughty wit. Anphibius’ music is sometimes mesmerizingly bare, and sometimes lush and poppy. Influences cited by awestruck audiences included Lee Hazlewood, Burt Bacharach, Erik Satie, Leonard Cohen, Carole King, and Jarvis Cocker.
The duo’s strategy of presenting songs in their most honest, naked form leaves plenty of space for listeners to contemplate their own sins. Tender and sprinkled with sophisticated humor, the songs themselves make you feel as if you’re in your own sitting room sipping cognac.
After these eternal umpteenagers quit the field in 2006 (well, there was one wedding gig in 2008, to be completist), the duo split to begin new lives in Amsterdam (J.C.) and in New York under a new name, Anton Sword (Anphibius). But their unique mood remains preserved in this series of recorded specimens.
Experiencing J.C. & Anphibius may not change your life. The only guarantee is that every song will tell a story.