Jelani Aryeh Finds Familiar Comfort in the Chaos of 'The Sweater Club'


Photo: Silken Weinberg      

Genre-blending visionary Jelani Aryeh has released his sophomore album, The Sweater Club, a progressive listening journey from start to finish. The 24-year-old Afro-Filipino artist returned from a two-year hiatus in early 2024, with the release of the album’s lead single, “I’m In Love.” With the announcement of his first headline tour kicking off in November, this year is shaping out to be major for this unique creative force.      

Aryeh describes this record as a “two year adventure and labor of love”—and it shows. The Sweater Club is a complex and layered journey from start to finish, consisting of 13 tracks ranging from a minute thirty to over four minutes. With this modern love letter to post-punk, the rising star achieves harmonious sonic cohesion while still embracing chaos.    

The album opener and second pre-release single “Sweater Club” sets the tone for the project by introducing one of its main themes—loneliness. The swift passage of time and the idea of watching your own life go by is intricately woven throughout the tracklist and brilliantly replicated in the production. Each track captures relevancy yet feels plucked straight from a 2011 indie movie, especially in tracks like “The Fallback” and “I’m In Love.” There are more intimate moments like in “Bugaboo,” where we hear Aryeh up close and personal as he reflects on childhood like a lullaby.      

Aryeh’s writing style is extremely personal without saying too much, an impressive balance that makes for special moments like “Interlude For Mr. Cobbs,” where he connects with the listener by vocalizing over an alluring instrumental. “Breaking By” can only be described as Phoenix meets blink-182, and, along with the following track “Star Eyes,” shows off the daring creative's more experimental side.     


The Sweater Club is innately cinematic, but the back half captures an energy that takes it to the next level. “Shudder,” another pre-release single, is a standout track that immediately demands your attention. The descriptive lyricism is palpable, especially in the standout ending where Aryeh sings lyrics that encapsulate the spirit of the whole album, “As days go by / It never gets colder / You live in July / You never grow older.”      

The project ends on a unique note with “1912 Stockholm Olympics,” a fractured monologue over a raw guitar strum. Overlapped monologues go from ear to ear, making it nearly impossible to focus on one string of words. Somehow it still feels personal and coherent, proving that feelings don’t just come from the words themselves. Ending on a track like this says so much about who Aryeh is as a person and an artist.  

No matter if you’ve never listened to Jelani Aryeh or are a longtime listener, this record will leave an impact. Whether it serves as your soundtrack to the summer or a more intimate listen, the introspective nature of The Sweater Club will serve as a loving reminder to connect with the present moment. 

Listen to The Sweater Club below:

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