Guitarist and songwriter Afie Jurvanen has been making waves in the indie rock scene with his latest album, Bahamas is Afie. His blues inspired music is guitar heavy with tasteful melodies and fuzzy, quirky solos reminiscent of Annie Clark (St. Vincent). But that’s not all they have in common.
Both have an affinity for those Chicago made, formerly “cheap” catalog guitars bearing the name Silvertone and Harmony on the headstock. Afie plays a 1960s Silvertone Jupiter and has for a while. At some point in time he seems to have gutted the thing in favor of just a neck position pickup and an output jack. No need for those pesky potentiometers and pickup selector to degrade the signal.
The DeArmond gold foil (chrome argyle on the Silvertone versions) pickups on both Afie’s Jupiter and Annie’s Bobkat have been the subject of my own affections for some time now. They’re perfect for driving a good tube amp into that sweet spot or a fuzz pedal into a beautiful crazy mess. The cool cold war era styling is kitschy yet tasteful at the same time.