15 Dec 2018
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Jas Josland - Album Review: See What You Did There

03 Feb 2018 // A review by Alex Moulton
See What You Did There is Jas Josland's debut album consisting of 11 tracks and a total run-time of almost 37 minutes. With only one song breaking the four-minute mark, these tracks on the debut album are on the shorter side, running less than three and a half minutes long, on average.

Opening the album with Change, we can get an idea of the recording style, with a decidedly human sounding album; with the use of feedback to add to the ambient noise of the track, and the squeaks when changing chords are clearly audible, not being digitally removed in post. Josland's voice is smooth and sultry, but feels like the speaking voice is used, singing with the throat vs the diaphragm; maintaining great control over note and timbre, but lacking volume and projection.

With guitar riffs involving simple chord progressions, and a minimalistic drum beat, the focal point of the opening tracks on the album comes from Josland's vocal efforts. Without proper projection of her voice, the overall sound lacks the strength that I was hoping to hear and instead relies on lyrical content and harmonies to keep listener interest.

There is a tempo change with Blue Eyes, with the addition of some trumpet, and adventurous drum fills. More variety in the vocal style and a distinct verse-chorus structure gives the track a sense of energy and enthusiasm that gets the blood pumping. With a reggae/ska angle, it creates diversity in the song, that makes it incredibly exciting to listen to, and will no doubt get crowd energy up during live performances. A definite stand-out on the album.

Lie To Yourself (which has already been reviewed separately here) was released as a single in December, has a change in vocal style that continues throughout the remainder of the album, with a much stronger sound with a deep, smoky voice, that has a similar style to Gin Wigmore. Another high tempo track with good energy.

Album's in general often try to create a journey for the listener to go through. See What You Did There gains momentum and confidence as the album progresses. Almost as if the album was recorded in one take from start to finish, each subsequent song, involves greater variety and complexity, both instrumentally and vocally, making use of Josland's wide range, with sultry deep notes and sharp twangs.

In the latter half of the album, Ditched and Awkward Eyes brings it back to to the ballad rock feel, with the more softly spoken tracks that have their strength in their emotive lyrics. The two tracks pair very well with adjacent stages of the same lyrical topic. Where The Hell Were You? is an interesting choice for the album. A song that was written for a family currently facing a very big legal battle after their sister/daughter/mother was apparently murdered but covered up as a suicide.

A varied album that has enough diversity to keep your interest, but has an overall melancholic vibe throughout much of it. The central tracks, Blue Eyes through Money, are the strongest tracks showcasing vocal and instrumental ability. An overall emotive album with overwhelmingly relatable lyrics spread through a deliciously smooth voice.


Review written by Alex Moulton
 

About Jas Josland

A little bit of this and a little bit of that - is how Jas Josland describes her music - almost like a recipe book with strong Influences ranging from 60's to the new artists surfacing the music world today. '! After living in Asia and Europe - Jas insists that people watching is the key to her success of song writing. "When you can't quite speak the language - you learn a lot by watching and listening. Jas has just recorded her first album and is headed to Europe for some Summer time Touring.




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jas Josland

Releases

See What You Did There
Year: 2018
Type: Album

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