18 Aug 2019
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Blair Jollands - Album Review: 7 Blood

08 Aug 2018 // A review by Kris Raven
I had never heard of Blair Jollands before, and I am always open for artists I have not yet discovered that can blow my mind. When I first heard the first single 7 Blood I was not disappointed. I initially listened before reading anything about his influences or history because I wanted to hear and feel without any outside opinions. My first impression was – Hey, this guy is hugely talented! I thought how lucky we are in 2018 to have this kind of music being made. It's original and has high quality song writing with an incredible degree of musicianship throughout the album. Listed influences include Nick Cave and David Bowie. To me these guys are artists unlike anyone else and they make their own sound without limits; they are storytellers and they create real art that incorporates so many genres. Blair Jollands does this as well, and tells an artful, diverse, cool, beautiful story with a layered soundscape.

The album 7 Blood is produced by Jollands and features an impressive cast of musicians and vocalists. The singles released so far include I'll Remember You, which is a very cinematic piece and reminds me of a soundtrack to a romantic French film. Featuring an epic strings section and duel Male/Female vocals (which is a big feature throughout) which narrate the story together. The title track 7 Blood is funky, groovy, ballsy and fun. This could be the soundtrack to a spy film. The chorus is like the dramatic action piece with the 7 Blood vocal melody, funk guitar with horns carrying one of the main melodies and then the strings bringing out the theatrics. “There’s a boogie down in my brain” is what this song does when you listen, plus its hella danceable. Like every song, whether it's Blair or another singer duetting or harmonising, it's wide ranging, from gospel to a lonely crooner.

7 Blood offers a variety of themes lyrically and musically. Burning Man with the haunting lyrics “You can’t set fire to a burning man” carries a Western theme and a dark storyline. This is a standout track for me, featuring a ticking clock in the background, like a countdown to the end, and with a subtle acoustic guitar. Black Diamond is a banger. With a big bass and drums sound, sitting up the front of the mix with a super catchy sing-a-long chorus. Mojacar Moon delivers some Spanish flair with up stroke guitar, sweet horns and some percussion in the mix along with duel elevating vocal melodies.

Revelations carries an upbeat feel with a mix of acoustic and electric guitar and marching snare drum driving the rhythm. The lyrics on this track are tongue-and-cheek “Revelations come, Revelations go” with a powerful choir of a chorus and the addition of the organ adding to the overall beef of the song. Then we get to I Will Carry You, which begins with a more laid-back intro, it has a sadder feel and is a nice short and sweet track. Drifting Song really displays Blair's vocal ability with a finger picked acoustic guitar. His voice really gels with the subtle addition of strings and some smooth backing vocals. It’s how a love song should be done, and it reminds me of singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley, this is my favourite track on the album. 

The final song is Restless Soul (the most recent single) and it combines the classic harmonica and acoustic guitar combo and, making it feel like there is some pain behind the lyrics. Restless Soul is one of the quieter tracks, it has huge power with the gospel backing vocals and organ. “So, help me God, it's gonna take its toll”!

I really recommend 7 Blood to anyone looking to expand their musical repertoire. It has a great range of songs with diverse sounds and is a very well crafted, artistic album. 7 Blood is an experience to be had and enjoyed.


Review written by Kris Raven

 

About Blair Jollands

Blair Jollands is often compared vocally to Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright & Scott Walker, his music communicating a paradoxical mix of melancholia and optimism that draws the listener in.

Having won the admiration of both David Bowie & Boy George (who released Blair's previous material under the name El Hula on his More Protein label), Jollands has received praise from the likes of NME, Guardian, Uncut, ArtRocker and more.

Jollands will be returning to New Zealand and Australia to promote his new album plus, he is soon to be featured on the TVNZ series Dream Catchers of which he also composed the soundtrack.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Blair Jollands

Releases

7 Blood
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Half Life
Year: 2015
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Kris Raven

Outside In - Single Review: Blue Dragon
01 Aug 2019 // by Kris Raven
Auckland 5-piece Outside In have just released their third single Blue Dragon from their upcoming debut album. The progressive rock quintet has been busy this year after taking a lengthy sabbatical, reintroducing NZ audiences to their intellectually crafted brand of alternative prog rock.
Read More...
Pale Flag - EP Review: Emergence
25 Jul 2019 // by Kris Raven
Auckland’s Pale Flag are about to release their debut EP Emergence, which is aptly named considering their already stacked gigging CV. Having released their brutal first single In This Moment, their growing fan base can expect to hear 6 brand new heavy af bangers.
Read More...
Take Hold - EP Review: Disrepair
27 Jun 2019 // by Kris Raven
I have seen Take Hold’s name pop in up various social media circles, posters and events but had not had a chance to check them out. Their debut five song EP Disrepair had me instantly hooked from the first listen, reminding me of past and present melodic hardcore bands from the 00's to the 10's and more recently.
Read More...
Animalhead - Single Review: Stone Face Killer
22 May 2019 // by Kris Raven
Auckland’s favourite lads Animalhead on the lash are back with their massive third single Stone Face Killer. The ferocious trio are known for their chunky and funky riffs, massive groove, dabs of rap and blues, soaking it in rock and roll and turning out the party bangers for a throw down.
Read More...
Claemus - Singles Review: 'Rule of Two' and 'Progenitor'
16 May 2019 // by Kris Raven
Hutt Valley's finest, Claemus, have just dropped the first two singles from their forthcoming EP. If the singles and previous works are anything to go by then our ears are in for some of the finest progressive rock/metal this year.
Read More...
Pale Lady - Single Review: Fear the Fun
18 Apr 2019 // by Kris Raven
From the first listen of Pale Lady’s latest single Fear The Fun it instantly reminded me of Medieval times, with the harpsichord keys playing a little jig which is the intro theme to the whole song, it's fun and I did not fear it. Then the epicness begins, how can anyone not like duel guitars wailing and soloing melodically together carrying the anthemic tune into the battle.
Read More...
Crooked Royals - EP Review: Rumination
29 Mar 2019 // by Kris Raven
Let's just start off by saying, Ruminations is 5-songs by Crooked Royals, who have leveled up in a big way. It sounds like a band who have found their sound with well-constructed songs that are cohesive, interesting, original and just HUGE.
Read More...
Cherry Blind - Single Review: Black Sheep
26 Feb 2019 // by Kris Raven
Cherry Blind (formally known as Minimal Silence) have recently dropped 1 minute and 25 seconds of adrenaline soaked punk-rock-grunge-noise in the form of brand new single Black Sheep. A name change can always go a few ways but with a new single following afterwards, people can be rest assured they are coming out of the 2019 gates swinging and ready to launch.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kris Raven

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • SENORITA
    Shawn Mendes And Camila Cabello
  • OLD TOWN ROAD (REMIX)
    Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
  • BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
    Ed Sheeran feat. Khalid
  • THE GREATEST
    Six60
  • NO GUIDANCE
    Chris Brown feat. Drake
  • RANSOM
    Lil Tecca
  • IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS
    Mzwètwo feat. Rei
  • BAD GUY
    Billie Eilish And Justin Bieber
  • HOW DO YOU SLEEP?
    Sam Smith
  • SOMEONE YOU LOVED
    Lewis Capaldi
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem