‘Musical magic that calms, delights and ignites a comforting warmth within you.’
Intro to Jolé:
One of the best things about always being on the look out for new artists to feature, is that you never really know when you’ll find one. Sometimes it will be quick, sometimes it will take a while and other times it
will come completely out the blue. Truth be told, I don’t actually remember how I discovered London based singer-songwriter Jolé, but to say I’m delighted I did would be an understatement. Releasing his heartfelt,
self-titled debut album earlier this month, there is no doubting his talent for creating musical magic. But, if you don’t believe me, let ‘Picture Perfect’ be your convincer.
From the very second that ‘Picture Perfect’ begins and the guitar is raised into position, you know just how special the next few minutes are going to be. Bringing a unique edge, it really does set up the live, intimate and totally engaging sound that the track has. Truly beautiful, it’s rare for such an atmosphere to be created before even a single note has been played. Honestly. However, the effect that it has ensures that the arpeggiated accompaniment – which is appropriately picked to perfection – only adds to it.
Developing harmonically through the extended introduction, the movement within its setting creates a sense of freedom and regularity. It’s like you can actually see how relaxed Jolé is as he’s playing. If you think that’s impossible, just take a listen. Meanwhile, as the progression continues, the anticipation builds of when the vocal will actually enter. Thankfully though we don’t have to wait much longer.
Emphasising the comfort found in the story telling the initial lines of “Your smile keeps me hanging on… I’m happy now I know our love is strong” the harmonically set melodic content brings much warmth. In what is not the first, nor to be the last of the showcase moments of the track, the setting of these lyrics further paints a picture in our minds of being there at the time of recording. I don’t know about you, but it’s rare that I get completely drawn into a male vocalist as much as I do to Jolé on this track. However, while there’s no doubting the success of the vocals, the changes which are about to occur are simply magical.
Emerging from seemingly nowhere, on reaching a wordless link section a key feature of the track – that of orchestral strings – begins to break through. Completely transforming the track, the gentle growing of these sustained lines brings added value and moves you in a way that completely catches you out. As unexpected as it is beautiful, it touches you deeply and with additional rhythmic content doing likewise, it’s an absolute masterclass of how music should be.
Enhancing every inflection within Jolé’s vocal and building on the newfound orchestral influences, on moving through the second verse, they truly come to the fore. Creating a joyful sound, the developing textures generate an appropriately relaxed, smile-inducing response. However, there is much more to it than that. Oh so much more! Combining pizzicato violin countermelodies with arco centred harmonies, it’s a sublimely perfect sound. Each and every motif has a reason for being there and set in this way, it demonstrates an understanding of idiomatic string writing rarely heard.
As prominent as these ideas have been until now, Jolé does something which, in my experience, is again very rare. Showcasing these elements for the beauty that they are, the conclusion of the second verse signals an almost total handover to them. Joined by only the wordless hums of earlier, the atmosphere grows, calms, delights and ignites a comforting warmth within you right to the intimate ending. To generate just a couple of those sensations would make it a stand out track, but, to do all four, well that is beyond compare.