The Only One
The Only One is available at:
Coming Down is available from:
The Only One– 9.5/10.0
Heaven Won’t Change– 9.4
Long Haul Baby– 9.4
Child’s Play– 9.4
We Are an Arrow– 9.3
Afraid of the Dark– 9.3
God Made Lana Del Rey– 9.6
God Made Lana Del Rey
The Only One, Heaven Won’t Change, Child’s Play, God Made Lana Del Rey
5th August, 2014
Pop, Electro., Experimental
The Canadian solo artist wants her music to put the listener on the outside; awaiting a storm- raptured by the wind and building tension. Jessica Chase showcases a tremendous talent and febrile brilliance (throughout Coming Down). The Only One is one of the E.P.’s most direct and stunning examples- a song that shows just what a huge talent the Ontario Electro.-Pop star is
WHEN it comes to arresting and stunning artists…
there are few that can top Canadian Jessica Chase. In addition to being one of the most beautiful women in music, her songs have compelled and connected with multitudes of listeners. Following on from the success of her previous singles, her E.P. Coming Down is gaining some incredible reviews and feedback. Having listened to it myself, I can pay testament to how incredible and nuanced it is. One of the most invigorating and captivating Pop artists in the world, Chase has brought to mind a few points. Having spent a few days away from Canada- concentrated on U.K. musicians- I am back in my ‘second home’. There are a couple of points I shall raise- when thinking of Chase- but for the moment I am looking at the solo female market. The solo artists that come through- in the mainstream- have been producing some mixed results. Having adored albums by the likes of George Ezra, La Roux and FKA twigs, I am excited to see what is coming forth. Some artists- naming no names- have come in with some tepid and unextrodinary efforts- it is only natural there is going to be some weakness and disappointment. New music is producing more sturdy and reliable returns- so many of the acts I have reviewed have struck me with their inventiveness and sounds. Jessica Chase is one of the most impressive and original solo acts in the world- emanating from an area that has been stamping out some terrific musicians. The Toronto-based musician is showing why Canada is such a potent and mesmerising force. I have reviewed a mix and sprinkling of Canadian bands and solo acts- most from the Ontario region- and am always surprised by how pressing and urgent (musicians are there). Chase is doing things differently; in her own indubitable way- her fresh and uplifting songs have been exciting tongues and minds (across the globe). It is always hard for solo artists to make a big impression (as the bands of the world) as their lot and day-to-day life is that much harder. Having to take care of all the promotional and creative duties; it can be a lonely and difficult life- those that succeed should be commended. If the mainstream darlings have taught us anything, it is that the key to success is honing a unique and distinct sound- few musicians take the trouble to separate themselves from the pack. Having been entranced by some scintillating offerings (this year), it is the realms of Pop and Electro.-Pop that have struck me hardest. Providing a sense of drama, passion and personal insight, the genres have seen some terrific confessional outpourings- from La Roux’s Trouble in Paradise to FKA twigs’s LP1. Each of those female icons has provided a wealth and treasure trove of deep and layered sounds; spiky and hard-hitting words; diary page dramas- Chase is someone who can easily fit alongside these acts. Among her interests are:
“Fairytales, Volcanoes, Trees and Nature, Love, Animals, Danger, Beauty, Art, Music, Dreams,The inner workings of the mind, Fitness, Family, Curiosity, Karma and Life.”
Before I mention my third point, I will look at Chase’s music itself- what sort of themes and style she favours. Having been writing songs since childhood, she favours etherealness and nature- over more repressive avenues. When distilling the essence of her music, Chase explained it thus:
“For me, writing music is all about spacing out and finding a place in your heart that feels right. These songs are about as in the moment as I can manage, and each one makes be feel like I’m standing outside in the wind and leaves, and there’s a dark sky and a big rain storm coming (which is the best feeling).”
Few musicians are able to summarise and drill down to the bedrock- explain how music makes them feel; why it drives them. Our heroine has a clear passion and understanding of music- the amount of magisterial force and luster she summons (through her music) takes the breath away. Strangely- or perhaps not- I have been finding myself more gripped by female artists- as opposed the chaps. I will conclude with one point: what next year will be offering. I think now- as much as any time in history- the stage is set for new artists to take the spotlight; transcend beyond the local gig circuit- claim their rightful place among the most profitable and celebrated musicians in the world. Coming off of a truly unexpected reviewing experience- documenting a tremendous debut album by a Yorkshire-based band- it is startling how much more ambitious and hungry (new artists are) compared with the mainstream- they have that extra layer of necessity and drive. Taking inspiration from historical acts; blending genres and styles together- the finest cocktails coming through are deserving of a huge audience. Chase doesn’t simply sit within the confines and prerequisites of Pop- that safe and universal sound that does not go out of its way to excite and intrigue. Sharing similarities with the likes of La Roux, Ellie Goulding, Chvrches and Florence and the Machine- electronic swathes and pumping emotions are mixed with tenderness and introspective longing. The women of the Electro.-Pop genre are some of the most impressive acts out there; the vocals are entrancing and gorgeous- they are inspiring legions of new musicians. It is not just her lyrics and themes that are distinct and memorable- Chase has a spectacular and gripping voice that makes you want to stick your head through the speakers; get inside the studio and hear the music up-close and personal. Topped off with a spicy and flavoursome crust of sounds and themes, the package (the Canadian provides) is fully-rounded and hypnotic music. With our very own Little Sparrow, Lydia Baylis and Alison Levi- providing their own takes on the genres of Pop, Folk and Soul- it is terrific to embrace and discover international gems- newcomers that demand your soul and full attention. Coming Down showcases a body of work that is bursting with life, passion and personality- so much tenderness and beauty nestles in the blankets of urgency and panache. I will get down to assessing the E.P. in due course; the single The Only One is already proving to be one of my favourite tracks of 2014- it is a song that demands repeated plays and fond investigation. Chase is a songwriter that delves deep and touches people- writing lyrics and words that can be extrapolated and understood by most of us. Both connective and embracing; heart-aching and gripping, we are going to be hearing a lot more from Jessica Chase.
It is worth seeing where our heroine came from- in order to get the full picture behind Coming Down. Have released a single previously, you can see a development and expansion. The E.P. is essential the debut- given that only one song has come before. Just a Girl is upbeat; it has electronic rushes and an aching vocal performance. The lyrics have an earnest and honest skin; with a distinct and noble heartbeat, it shows a romantic side to Chase- imbued with her talent for subversion and expectation defiance. Vocal layers give an edginess and Dance-orientated feel; the song is weighty and hypnotic. The track is perfect for dancefloors and the clubs- it has a summer-ready feel and innate ability to get your feet moving. Impassioned and endlessly upbeat, Just a Girl has an energy and determination that never lets go- one of the young artist’s most catchy and urgent tracks. Chase’s new E.P. shows a development and step forward. The rush and elliptical sound blends- seen on Just a Girl– comes through on some numbers. The Only One has a burbling and dark electronic opening. Gorgeous and intriguing, the track marries Hip-Hop elements and Dance avenues- delicate and breathy vocals have a head full of smoke. Those distinct and emotional tones show determination and emotion. Our heroine has more than one lover- she is not tied to one particular person. The momentum never drops and the gripping story puts distinct images in the mind- you can see our heroine giving the kiss-off to her boy. Strong and determined, it has a defined rebellious and empowered backbone. Heaven Won’t Change is youthful and spright. Our heroine does not want to grow up today- there is a vibrancy and energetic rush that has a distinct charm and smile. The passionate and breezy sound is backed by some vibrating electronics and pummeled beats. The see-saw blends of Electro. and Dance give the song a huge amount of uplift and determination- it is another song that gets the feet moving and the arms swaying. Demonstrating a huge amount of alacrity and soul, the sweetness and passion mingles Ellie Goulding and La Roux- the resultant sound is one that sticks long in the mind. Long Haul Baby is more restrained and tender. Our heroine says- to her boy- “I love you“; it “is a lie.” The vocal rises and belts; the breadth and width- of Chase’s voice- comes to the fore- that hugely impressive talent makes its mark. Our heroine is never going to “love you right“- her mind is split and her heart elsewhere. Cooing and tender, the restrained and soothed beat takes the E.P. in another direction- demonstrating an adept mobility and sense of range. Child’s Play is a rightful highlight. The swaying and sensual vocal has potency and sweetness- the voice is crisper and higher in the mix. The classical backing touches put me in mind of The Nutcracker– that balletic-cum-punchy blend sits beautifully together. With a catchy chorus and indelible feel, the track stays in your mind- it is a gorgeous number. The swelling electronics back messages that question desire- is there a price tag on it?- and stealing- Is there a difference between taking a nickel and a dime? Deep issues and themes are explored; intelligently deployed and uttered, it is a song with plenty of nuance and quality. We Are an Arrow is edgy and direct. The vocal is high up again; swelling and atmospheric compositional moments fuse Trance and Trip-Hop aspects- Dance flavours add a kick and spice. A stronger and more pugnacious rabble, the song strikes and grabs- there are haunting elements. Afraid of the Dark mixes Pop and Country swathes; love-lorn and torn, our heroine is not afraid- she wants to be touched (and sets her mind out there). The vocal is impassioned and soulful; stirring and levitating- it swaggers and teases. With a constant movement and perfect pacing, it is a number you will be repeating and playing again- it shows just what a nimble and eclectic sense of adventurousness Chase has. Showcasing her talented ability to shift lyrical styles, the song hits hard. God Made Lana Del Rey is perhaps the E.P.’s finest hour. A haunting and ethereal vocal pay pays tribute to- and mocks- Lana Del Rey. Our heroine has a similar etherealness and spectral sound; her words do not look at video games, bad boys, Corvettes and shagging- that idealistic and lascivious movie lifestyle. No L.A. roadtrips and come-to-mummy declarations; no collagen lips and hazy trips- God has left Chase well alone. The song mixes with and humour with some stirring and emotive thoughts. The lifestyle and talent the likes of Del Rey present- richness and insistent over-exuberance and tackiness- is investigated. The smooth and sensual vocal rules the roost- the heroine does not succumb to over-emoting and needless shouts. Some singers talk of- and possess- heroin scars and fast cars; the Canadian is a real girl and honest artist (that lives life realistically). Having not been given leg-ups and critical acclaim, she is doing things true and meaningful- if God is helping the Del Reys pull in the big bucks, our heroine is glad to be detached from that. Bruce Springsteen’s motifs of fast cars and girls pre-date and front-run Del Rey- parables can be drawn between their brand of luxuriant lyrics and sex-obsessed minds. Bob Dylan parodied Springsteen acutely in Tweeter and the Monkey Man– for the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. That song not only kicked ass- it kicked Springsteen’s ass! Wit and borderline-hilarious, it was a perfect put-down and indictment. Similarly, Prefab Sprout took the Born in the U.S.A. author down a peg (on their hit) Cars and Girls. Documenting (there is more to life than both), the track had elements of truth and meaning. Chase provides her own slam and take on this subject- perfectly undressing and dethroning the sort that favour richness and hollow fame over reality. A perfectly memorable end- to a tremendous E.P.- it takes your breath. Having developed hugely- since her debut cuts- the Canadian staggered me with her range of voices and ideas. Topics do not stick to one theme or image; they transform and interchange- covering love, fame and independence; everyone will find something to enjoy. The compositions shift from heady and witches brew electronics to pillow talk acoustic moments- every potent soundtrack beautifully supports the songs. If Chase’s voice puts you in mind of Del Rey, then that is the only comparison- as a songwriter and artist she is a sibling with no related D.N.A. In a different league, Chase acts as an antithesis- she has the sweetness, haunt and passion; her songs have a credibility and universality that unites critics and listeners. It will be great to see where she goes from here; how her voice and talent evolves- on this evidence, she is likely to impress hugely. With such a conviction and determination, she is an artist I will be seeking out more- I cannot wait to hear more from her! After taking the step to record her songs and historical thoughts, I am sure she has fresh inspiration and lease- it will be great to see what her next record contains.
When looking at acts- that could have inspired Jessica Chase- I will get one U.S. name done up top: Lana Del Rey. Whilst actively rebelling against the full-lipped Lizzy Grant, there are some threads common to both. While the lyrical themes and compositions are vastly removed, some of the vocal performances share similarities. The best album comparison- in terms of albums- is Ultraviolence. The album- unlike her previous offerings- has been met with critical acclaim. Commentators have pointed out the confidence in the vocals- something that was lacking from her earlier cuts. The melodies are universally beautiful; the choruses clicks; the music sweeps and swoops- that bold and daring soul mandates every song. Del Rey came across as a bruised beauty: someone who seemed comfortable in black-and-white movie scenes and Technicolor highway drives. Some of her naivety and predictability had gone- the samey and one-dimensional themes and variations- with coquettish sexuality and quasi-transgressive qualities coming in. The hyper-stylised approach- the Hollywood Pop star gave to her music- is less evident on Ultraviolence. The sultry and overstated orchestral moments- of Born to Die– resonated because they were unique and unexpected. Keen to not repeat herself, she projected divergence and difference. The slow-building atmospheres have superimposed Twin Peaks craziness- languid beauty and opulent arrangements came into effect. While Chase imbues more stereo blitz and raging upbeat into her music, she has some of Del Rey’s diversity and sense of occasion- making sure each note and moment is full and magisterial. The lyrics- from Chase- are more profound and fertile; the vocals fuller and less confined. That sweet and breathy undertone is apparent with both artists. The protracted and rolling melancholy- across Ultraviolence- gives birth to some of the L.P.’s finest moments; greasy Blues-Rock (metered restraint) makes the album more prosperous and gold-seeking. Chase provides density and lush songs; full bodies and beating hearts; jagged lips and spitting hips- the same blend that enforces some of Del Rey’s best (current moves). Whilst Del Rey seems like a character- deadpan affections, lispy lyrics; unerring desperation- Chase is far less tragic and contrived- what you hear is an honest account of a pure and relatable woman. Before I mention some other U.S.-based idols, there are plenty of British acts- that have compelled Chase. Ellie Goudling is an apt and pertinent name- one should introduce. The copulating glisten and energy of Lights set Goulding out as a name to be proud of. Our heroine instills elements of (this 2010) album into her own make-up. In terms of some ambivalent critical feedback, there is nothing wishy-washy and lukewarm about Chase’s debut. When Goulding arrived, many praised her lush and heady Electro. blends. Her style and panache set her apart; that sweet-cum-sexual voice made everything sound utterly beguiling and captivating. The gushing and breathless rushes made her songs standout and stirring- Chase has a similar sense of passion and headiness. Marking herself as a female du jour, she (Goulding) rivaled Florence and the Machine and Adele for effect and scintillation. The superstar-level gems had glossy attraction and sparkly Pop- mingled with gutsy Folk and all-consuming passion. Chase incorporates (some of these) elements into her tracks- she has the same potential to be at the top of her field; that guiding and inspirational talent (that is not confined to genre and gender borders). Delicate grooves, blipping Disco and dashes of pumped spiciness defined Lights; the album saw the fog-swaddling soprano seduce with ample ease. Minor-key melodies and brisk Electro. rhythms were augmented by thoughtful and authoritative production values- with everything revolving around Goulding’s stunning voice. The aerated and pretty moments- on Lights– were not too slight; the groundbreaking moments scintillated mouth-watered critics- and created huge fervency and hoopla. Goulding was never content to project one sound and style; sometimes acoustic guitars lead- other times bombastic and free-for-all electronic screams. Chase changes gear and delineation across her E.P.- incorporates Goulding’s most notable and nibble qualities- ensuring her voice and songwriting comes from her very distinct quarters. La Roux is a new name to many- her Trouble in Paradise album is one of 2014’s finest discs. On that album, you can see some key moments- that may have compelled Chase. Having recorded her E.P. (around the same time as La Roux), it is hard to say how direct (La Roux’s influence is); one thing is for sure- there are some definite similarities. Having garnered mass critical thumbs-up- this was her first album in five years- the biggest compliments were directed towards the ubiquitous and unending songwriting quality. Never subsiding or cracking, every song marked itself out as a hit- having recently listened to the album, you are blown away by the constant search for perfection. Almost overburdened- and an embarrassment of riches- the album showed staggering consistency and a sky-scraping set of ambitions. Less sparse than her debut, Trouble in Paradise provided bass-heavy newbies update and redefine her sound- a shift that drew many new fans forth. There is terror and kiss-offs; punch and too-close-for-comfort anxiety- the radiating beauty and warmth is what lingers. Chase instills similar contradictions and distinctions; her ambitions is as lofty and unnerving- she seems to be an equivocal and paramount talent. The quintessential similarity is the range of emotions and sounds. Both talented and tremendous lyricists, a spectrum (and plethora) of witticisms and heartbreaking confessions are ladeled- the steaming and flavoursome soup burns but nourishes; enriches and satisfies. The aural candy of Trouble‘ saw fizzy Electro. beats fight robotic stagger and crawl- the music is the sort that is perfect for roadtrips down sweaty highways. The expansiveness and multifarious switches make La Roux such an endless talent- she is comfortable in various arenas and scenarios. Chase is as viable and staggering when you digest her music- plenty there to suggest she will be a mainstream star of the future. She is as self-assured and convincing (as La Roux); the aural package of Trouble in Paradise is a getaway for the mind and soul- in the same manner, Coming Down is a heady detox that matches fragility and openness with cathartic bluster and upheaval- the E.P. is a creative trip into our heroine’s bursting mindset. Before my final trio of names, Florence and the Machine comes to mind. Led by a flame-haired and alluring Siren; Florence Welch’s nom de guerre has produced some of this generation’s most immediate work. If you are looking for comparisons- in terms of records- then Ceremonials (Florence and the Machine’s most up-to-date album) is the best starting-point. The subtle sprinklings of different instruments- harp, drums and classical strings- augmented songs and gave them nuance. The guiding producer hands of Paul Epworth made sure the album shone and glistened- the entire album is unflinching and deeply impressive. Ornate tapestries and bold, big moments sat with movie trailer-ready ballads and Electro.-despair- ‘Britpop’ mixes and orchestral Pop play seamlessly in the mix. Lavish spectacles and a distinct Britishness give Ceremonials a huge sense of pride. Chase fuses British and North American influences; the platonic lavishness and ornateness sits along augmentative beauty and impassioned rampancy- her songs are as consistent and action-packed as Welch’s. You can see some similarities in Ceremonials and Coming Down– let us hope the Canadian heroine keeps her sights and ambitions high. Chvrches are an underrated outfit that are having effects on a lot of new musicians. Having released their debut album- The Bones of What You Believe– last year, the sizzling acclaim and rapture has only started to die to embers. The laser-precise vocals- behind the Scottish act- made their album such a winner. Lauren Mayberry marked herself out as one of the most impressive and scintillating singers around- Chase has a similar talent and sense of conviction. Sophisticated and catchy hooks mingle with drama and light- the same sort of qualities evident in Chase’s debut. Both acts blend sharp and sweet- on The Bones of What You Believe there was a dedication towards familial strife. The heroine rallied against those close to her; seemed disjointed and betrayed- these shadowy topics were lifted with sweet and hushed vocals. Big sounds and endeavours are explored without irony; ’80s influences are investigated and appropriated- it is a unique and dizzying listen. Chase is an equally captivating voice; her songs mix diverse shades and emotions- everything is wrapped up in sophistication and intuitive confidence. Our heroine is as divine and eye-catching as Mulberry; neither woman takes crap from anyone- both are smart as anyone out there. Interdependence and separation come to the fore- on Chvrches’ work- the bullishness and punch masks some deep emotions and frailty. Phosphonic guitars and circuitous structures made The Bones‘ such a triumph- Chase has created similar spellbind on her sapling outing. The last duo of names I will bring in are Broods and The Weeknd. The former are a New Zealand Indie-Pop duo that have been setting the music world alight. Their debut album is released in a week- the hype and speculation regarding it has led to some heady predictions. The ruthless writing- that goes into Evergreen– leads to big moments and sweltering colours- catchiness and hypnotism do not let up. Whilst it is hard to reveal too many comparisons- as their album is not yet released- there are comparables and similar motivations. Both acts are compelled by emotions, honesty and ambition. Broods have been rehearsing and honing their sound for months; blending Electro. sounds with Pop lightness- instilling it with vibrant beats and some strong-willed outpourings. Chase has a similar confident and personality- she has worked hard at her music and put huge amounts of herself (into it). The Weeknd are among the most impressive acts of the moment. One of few countrymate influences, the solo icon set tongues wagging with Kiss Land– his latest album. Scaled-up sonics and headphone beauty shows a personal and deeply relevant set of songs- superbly crafted and performed with conviction.
A certain magnanimity opens up proceedings. Graceful and swan-like, the ruminative and bubbling electronic parable is fascinating to hear. Both romantic and distant, you get caught up in the blend of tranquility and urgency. As the intro. progresses, echoes and samples are weaved in- discordant whispers (of vocals) and our heroine’s wordless coo are inseminated- the heady blend builds the layers and sense of occasion. The luster or splendour causes obsequiousness and servile allure- the listener is tempted in and intrigued by what is to come. When our heroine steps to the mic., her voice is firm and passionate. With her head “full of smoke” she needs to be helped out of her clothes- instantly the mind starts generating images and possibilities. One part of your brain looks at incendiary avenues- a fire or tragedy has unfolded- but that would be too literal- it is a metaphor for an emotional fire; a state of mind that is causing anxiety and pain. There is lust and oxytocin ambitions in our heroine’s thoughts- having been clouded and weighed-down (by life) she wants a night of recklessness. Abandon and thrill-seeking are ruling her ambitions; that tangible need and longing comes through in the voice- you start to picture the story developing. Whereas contemporaries- such as Lana Del Rey- would beat down a highway in a U.S. muscle car; cigarette smoke and Coca Cola name-checked and ascribed; here there is an honour and maturity to things- a woman who needs some temporary salvation and fulfillment. Not driven or defined by any juvenile tendencies, she needs escape and comfort- she wants to be held “like a prayer.” The way Chase employs and presents her linguistic flair is quite striking- that commingling sense of sexuality and restraint play alongside one another; the words crackle and sizzle with possibility- there is always a niggling sweat bead that runs down a salivated lip. As things unfold and develop, our heroine shows his alpha and emancipated side- claws and teeth show some bite and scratch. Surveying her sweetheart, she has little sympathy or regard- he is looking sorry and passed-over. Thinking the bond was going to be permanent and endless, perhaps some disillusionment has come into play- a meter of naiveté too. Our heroine is casting her net- getting what she needs- and definitely on top- the control and the power is all hers. Needing human touch and release- more than love and longevity- there is a hot and heavy aspect to the song. Usually female singer-songwriters- when talking of love and sex- show scars and broken hearts- they bemoan the lack of passion and commitment. Chase subverts expectation and makes sure things are crystal-clear: she has a determined mind and goal. Between lines, the electronic beats rustle up sensations of La Roux- that emotive and atmospheric darkness provides drive and soul. Our heroine knows- her man- is special and unique; he is not the only one- there is a feeling of get-over-yourself-now; the night is for living. The protracted and ferreted to and fro creates drama and speculation; the song lets you paint scenarios and ideas- it has a cinematic projection that means the Indie flick rolls with each cigarette burn and changed reel. The track remains alluring and teasing; the chorus never explodes or bursts into life- that measured and controlled tactfulness keeps The Only One as come-hither (as the words themselves). As we approach the 2:00 mark, our heroine’s voice mutates and sparkles. When her breathy sweet edge elongates I am reminded of Stevie Nicks- especially her performance on Dreams– when lower it has a strong and womanly pride; the variations and colours unfolded keep the song mobile and endlessly engaging. Never letting her voice wander or needlessly roller-coaster, Chase offers so much fortitude, passion and honesty- backing her striking and earnest words. Speaking to her lover, she explains that there are others in her life; living for experiences and newness, there are no ideals of permanent relations- perhaps she is feeling too suffocated (and defined by her lover). With her man “hanging around“, our heroine (has no intention of) repeating bad experiences- she has been in the situation before; keen to not go down that same path. There is no vitriol or coquettishness: each registered emotion and word is dignified and direct- the intention is to make her feelings know; nothing more. Showcasing some consideration and thoughtfulness, our heroine does not want to wound or dislocate the hero- let him down gentle and reveal the full truth. Transparency and lyrical directness melt to transitory electronic percolations and inflections. Those delirious, delicious and elliptical sonic warbles keep a buoyancy and optimism afoot; the fusion of Electro. and Pop elements is highly effective. The track is never glib or inconsequential; not forced or too insistent- Chase has gone to great lengths to hone and perfect her motives. Vocals and utterances are given full consideration; every note and line is performed with an uttermost economy and qualitative edge. The composition is sparse but hugely evocative- showing its heart and soul when the mood becomes a little tense. Lyrics have filmic skins and fully-rounded storylines; the balance of emotions is beautifully realised- there are no immature or vague moments. Distinguishing herself aside from the raft of ingenue and ephemeral Pop stars, Chase marks out her vibrant stall. Pummeling and Trip-Hop-inspired beats- reminiscent of Massive Attack and Portishead- spar with stuttered and fragmented vocal snatches. This results in some aural expansion; lyrics are put aside as the music does all the talking. Representing physical development and structure, it may represent a new night- and a fresh hotbed of passion- or an interval and regression- maybe our heroine is walking out and walking the street-lit sidewalks. After the twilight rendezvous and itinerant rain-backed street scenes, Chase reflects and seems taken-aback. Not realising the effect (she has on men); the way her beauty and passion can intoxicate and grip- like heroine on a helpless soul- her boy seems shocked- he wanted things to last and bloom. As the shock waves (and quasi-tsunami reverberations) lace into the atmosphere, our heroine lets her sizzling voice into the spotlight. Words like “reload” are presented- giving a sexual and lascivious undertone to proceedings- as she advises (her man) to move on; have his fun and get back in the game. Our heroine has little intention of lingering and picking out wallpaper patterns; she made her feelings clear- she just wants the thrill and the chase. The final moments tick away (as the song’s core message is reinvigorated)- making sure her voice is heard. Throughout the track you are siding with Chase; you never really empathise with the hero- our heroine has not led him astray or blindsided him. As The Only One does its job, you evoke a smile and sly grin- it is a track that captures you with its honest charm and bold proclamations. Redefining gender roles (and the prominent urges of mainstream Pop), Chase offers something new and vibrant.
Having listened to the Coming Down E.P. I am deeply impressed by Jessica Chase. Here is an artist that does not stand still creatively- she is always moving and providing something new. Across the E.P.’s tracks, so much diversity and range is provided; the tracks change course and give insight into the creative mind. From broken love through to Lana Del Rey, the beautiful Canadian shows just what a fertile and ambitious talent she is. The Only One has a juggernaut strike; it never gets overtly angered or accusatory- the heroine keeps her voice and emotions cool and underexposed. You are always on Chase’s side; in her grip and grabs you find yourself gripped by her execution and urgency- that combination of sounds and sensations keeps the track alert and daring (from start to finish). It is a song that could fit effortlessly into the mainstream- it marries the sensibilities of La Roux and Ellie Goulding; it melts their best moments and never comes across as slight and waspish. Before I compliment Chase herself, it is worth noting a few points. The production is sharp and concise throughout. Never impeding upon the sound- nor too shiny and polished- it allows the song a chance to roost and captivate; all the notes and presentations have clarity and intelligibility. Throughout The Only One you are able to absorb the myriad notes and vocals; nothing is buried or mixed too low- the vocal is right up top and able to float over proceedings with authority. Chase herself proves she is a Jill-of-all-trades; someone who is comfortable and assured in all areas. As a writer she produces stunningly-realised and full songs- perhaps only God Made‘ tops The Only One. Her lead-off single is rife with brilliant moments and quotable lines. Keeping lyrics simple and effective, she never says too much (or rambles at all)- her economy and thoughtfulness means her direct codas are allowed to resonate in the mind. Compositional notes join everything from ’90s Trip-Hop (of the U.K.) to experimental moments of the modern-day; Pop lushness and swelling, orchestra Electro. jives too. The same way the likes of La Roux and Goulding have managed to seduce- with their firm and determined songs- Chase shows she is able to mix it up with them- I would not be shocked if she made her way to their heights (in the coming years). Backed with a voice that is natural, seamless and wide-ranging and you get full conviction and dedication- it is an instrument that can summon ethereal purity and lustful sexuality; via teasing tongue-licking and get-over-yourself directness. All of this makes The Only One a packed, nuanced and insatiable gem- a song that is perfect for every occasion. Giving the tempestuousness and capriciousness of our weather, there is never any assureredness at all- tracks like this are capable of lifting your mood (no matter what the outside brings). Swaggering and confident; measured and mature- Chase runs a gamut of emotions and elements. As stunning as The Only One is, listening to the E.P. (will give full impressions)- make sure you witness the Canadian in full flight; take in every song. Having formulated and moulded her craft since childhood; her recent developments point at snowballing ambitions- she has a lot more to say and get out there. The Only One is wholly capable of eradication emotional transgressions; elevating the spirits- a microcut of what the beautiful Canadian heroine is capable of. It is clear 2015 will see a lot more Jessica Chase music come forth.
I am glad Jessica Chase got in contact with me- wondering if I could review her music. Not only is her E.P. a triumph and stunning work; the lead-off single The Only One is one of the most immediate and gripping songs I have . When Chase described her music- how it is a matter of finding space and hitting home hard- you can hear that come through. All of her tracks have that passion and determination; they are in the moment and utterly alive- when listening you transform yourself to rain-lashed horizons; allow yourself to become enraptured in the mood and atmosphere of the surroundings. Atmosphere is what Chase summons up- her music has so much heart and fortitude. The poise, talent and spectacular beauty (Chase possess) makes her stick in your mind; she is someone with a huge future ahead. The E.P. Coming Down has already made its way into the iTunes chart- nestling alongside the likes of Sam Smith and Rhianna, no less. I have such a fine spot for certain moments; God Made Lana Del Rey makes me sigh and smile; it is a song that is intelligent and deep. Our heroine looks at God- as someone providing favours to the undeserving- granting boons to the flaccid and uninspired members of the musical clatch- the hollow fame-chasers. Chase has not been moulded by God; he/she has provided no helping hand- the song investigates religion and success through a striking and unique spectrum. Chase is in passionate and witty mood; her voice is determined and purposeful- it is one of her most memorable and stunning tracks. The Only One is a track that envelops your mind and grabs a hold of you- Chase never lets her stirring and indefatigable talent miss a beat. The woman quotes Murakami; she has a cheeky wit and rebelliousness; a tender beauty and jaw-dropping talent- I love her already! Canada is in the midst of a musical revolution; the genre armies are leading a charge to claim glory and regency- standing out from the artists of the U.K. and the U.S. Having gained plenty of enfevered reviews throughout Canada, many are expounding the wonders of Coming Down. It is music that is more mature and studied than contemporary fodder; the un-fantastic plastic puppets and muppets of the radio waves drone insistently and irritatingly about their woes and privileged problems- societal woes; their no-good boyfriends; phallocratic anger; their declining Gucci funds. I am not fully against acts like Jessie J, Lady GaGa and the like- those that are hardly among the best out there- I just find them desperately effete and flimsy. Their voices hardly grip and mesmerise; their lyrics trend lines of banality and juvenile tantrums- the music is anodyne and processed nonsense. Chase is a nascent development; part of a wave of (young) musicians that are putting the quality back into music. Away from the tabloid evilness and flashing bulbs of celebrity- an arena where many Pop artists love to lounge and prostitute themselves- we have a young woman who understands (how facile and repugnant those things are). She puts music first and has no desires to be a paparazzi obsession- her music and personality will never ever dip that low. It is no surprise many critics and music-lovers have clasped Chase to their chests; embraced her style and honesty- that unique and unparalleled lust and passion. In terms of synonyms and regularity, words like ‘passion’, ‘urgency’, and ‘soul’ are words I employ (in every review)- most of them are over 5,000 words so you can forgive such repetitiveness and verbosity. They have never been more apt as where contextualising Jessica Chase’s music. The passion of her voice and words shows just how meaningful they are- when decrying fame-hungry and deplorable sorts she never sounds more direct; when looking at love and herself that earnestness shine. It is the urgency of the deliveries that makes the music resonate and reverberate. There are no false moments and droning undertones; her songs and compositions are swelling and augmentative- designed to uplift the listener and purify their anxieties. The soul is an abstract concept; it is not a physical entity and chattel- more an essence and definition (of a person’s good and pure motives). Pablo Neruda claimed that laughter was the root of the soul; that which kept existence alive and pressing- otherwise it would be God; a non-existent and theorised entity. In his poem Clenched Soul, Neruda wrote the following words: “I have seen from my window/the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.” Being a devotee of writers (like Neruda and Murakami), words like these can be applied to Jessica Chase- her music summons up scenery, emotion, longing and beauty. Whatever you think about the soul- whether it is real or conceptual; eradicated or ever-present- it is the core inside all of us. Most human beings- the yawning ones- enrich their soul with family, jobs and ordinary endeavours; the people who have ambitions (and want to live a different life) are inspired by art- music is that which drives the most impassioned and distinct. Chase is an artist you should watch carefully as the year slips away- her music warrants some serious airplay and dedication. I hope she comes and plays London- not in Ontario; over in Blighty- and shows Britain just what she is made of. Having witnessed many of our home-grown musicians- who play similar music- rise and succeed, it is only a matter of time before Chase gets transatlantic regard. I know our heroine will not care too much for comments regarding her looks and beauty- it is highlighted too much when looking at female artists- so I will wrap things up (on a more relevant and pertinent note). Few artists in the mainstream seem to have the full package: that mixture of relatable personality, stunning music and multi-layered appeal. With so many artists and bands coming off as quite aloof; not as incendiary as their can be- when it comes to music- eyes and (bored) ears are turning towards the new crop making their moves. It is remiss to overlook just what they provide; how good some of the music is- take your thoughts away from the commercial and towards the noble. Jessica Chase finds inspiration in natural scenery; the atmosphere and weather- she wants her music to come across like a thunderstorm and meteorological revelation. When surveying her E.P.- and lead single- you can tell just how much music means to her; how keen she is to tell her messages to the world- that will stand her in good stead (with regards her potential). It may be early days, but all the signs are very promising indeed- I urge everyone to buy the Coming Down E.P. Investigate The Only One and all of its beauty and meaning; behold an artist that we will hear a lot more from. As we both share a connection with Haruki Murakami- Jess and me- I will leave you with a quote from him (from IQ84; that sums up our heroine): “Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up where we started.” Those words have so many meanings and interpretations; in my mind, they inspire people to look forward to the here and now- not back on something that has come before. Chase is an artist that does not look back or compare herself with others; she looks ahead and lives very much in the present. Of course, her mind is going to be trained to the future; the success (she will reap) and places she will go. Having taken the time to record music- that has been brewed and imagined since childhood- she is fulfilling her dreams and realising her inner-most desires. When it all comes down to it…
THAT is something that we should all take time to do.
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