“But I’m disturbed! I’m depressed! I’m inadequate! I’ve got it all!”
– George Costanza, Seinfeld
Costanza and The Jerk Store are the first two installments in Costanza’s discography and are among the first releases to come out of the Chicago-based Bandcamp label Apartment 5A, aptly named after Jerry Seinfeld’s place of residence on Seinfeld.
Costanza’s The Jerk Store nests itself at the apex of several cultural crossroads. The artist is named after Seinfeld’s George Costanza, the album’s art and name are nod to both a famous Costanza line and Death Grips’s The Money Store, and the music itself is dubbed Seinwave as a hybrid of Seinfeld and vaporwave.
The music’s connection to the TV show isn’t always obvious. The most blatant link between the two is heard in dialogue samples in “Costanza” and “Done.” More subtly, “Violet” and “Rad” sample the funky popping sound heard in Seinfeld’s main theme. Aside from the musical aspects, the EPs share some titular elements with Seinfeld as well. For example, “Puffy Shirt” and “Junior Mint” are both names of episodes.
Costanza’s Costanza opens with “Costanza” (Whew!), a distressed narrative of George’s state of being backed by a contrastingly mellow, jazzy progression. “Far Out” is another highlight, a simple groovy loop periodically interrupted by static, as if someone is fiddling with the channels on the TV.
The Jerk Store is much livelier in comparison. Like Costanza, this EP pairs well with Seinfeld. It’s grand, lively, yet charmingly mundane. The brevity of the songs makes them seem like TV bumps or credits sequences. The music reflects this as well. The compositions on The Jerk Store emulate the music used in Seinfeld, especially from earlier seasons.
It isn’t necessary to watch the show to enjoy the music, but the two do compliment each other remarkably well. Seinfeld aside, Costanza and The Jerk Store are two of my favorite EPs of 2016. I’m greatly looking forward to future Costanza projects as well as what Apartment 5A has in store next.
Favorite Tracks: “Costanza” (Costanza)
“Violet” (The Jerk Store)