‘Soft vocals and delicate musicality results in a track that’s beautifully understated yet full of impact.’
Intro to Jazz Lingard
When you first hear the music of Jazz Lingard, the first thing you are likely to notice is the tone of her voice. It’s soothing. It’s calming. And it’s honest. Sure this is partly down to the generally acoustic sound of her tracks but even her rockier debut ‘Will You Be Loved?’ generates a similar sensation. Featured on BBC Introducing Lincolnshire just last Saturday (10th August) as part of a special live sessions show, the tracks provided a connection that stood out for all the right reasons. Therefore, to say it’s great that the wait for her debut album ‘Blame it on the Moon’ (out Friday 16th August) is nearly over would be a huge understatement. Read more at: Behind the Music: Interview with JAzz Lingard
Perfectly capturing the softness that runs through Jazz’s music, delicately picked and strummed acoustic guitar chords introduce us to this latest track. Setting out the harmonic progressions as they are, you can’t pinpoint what the overall sensation of the track will be. Will it be a sad, downtrodden 3 minutes? Will it be filled with happiness? Or will it be a combination? To keep the intrigue, I’ll let you work it out as we progress.
Bringing a sense of thought-filled freedom, following the instrumental introduction we hear the opening line of ‘Oh it’s so hard, don’t think I have it in me to break your heart.’ Projected in a way that wonderfully compliments the acoustic accompaniment, it draws us in and entices us completely. Close-miced, but with the quietest of hiss in the background, Jazz perfectly showcases her vocal inflections making it feel incredibly folky and intimate.
Following the first verse, where freedom is very much key, an instrumental link provides a truer sense of rhythm and tempo. Remaining texturally sparse, but with one highly notable addition, it gives an indication of where things are heading. Remember that potential sense of ambiguity I mentioned? Well here it is on full display. Sounding relaxed and carefree, we hear the most intriguing of countermelodies. Instantly earwormy, it gently burrows it’s way into our ears. However, as it turns out this is also the basis of forthcoming lyrics and serving dual purpose the cleverness within is wonderfully understated.
Returning to the musical intimacy of before, with the emergence of the second verse, the sound returns to the beautiful combination of guitar and vocal. This time though, subtle changes in tone, frequent portamento and word-painting phrase endings take it up a notch. As a result of this, the overall sound also becomes more confident and with the texture growing, we are led to a resurgence of the instrumental link. Like the preceding elements though, this time it builds to contain aptly gentle drums and more dominant strumming patterns with an extended and doubled version of the countermelody. Actually, make that tripled as you can’t help but whistle or hum along.
Retaining the confidence of just now, we arrive at the title centred lyrics for the first time. Noticeably later in track than you may expect, it reinforces that this track isn’t one that follows the usual form. It is however very much a track of two halves and in completely casting aside perceived appropriate structures, the back-to-back verses are followed by back-to-back choruses which shift the message within the track.
Leading with the line of ‘Can’t bear one more moment of lying to your smile’ the honesty of earlier becomes subtly more impassioned and set to the same phrasing, the near repetition gives each line greater meaning. It has to be said though that the line that leaps out as being completely connective, that of ‘I need your heart to save mine,’ holds the fullest message. However, in moving to second rendition of these chorus lyrics, Jazz lets her voice flow out more, giving just as much meaning to ‘Please be gentle, please be kind’ ensuring that the connection is kept right to the end.