Jarryd James is an Australian singer-songwriter that embodies the emotional resonance of Ed Sheeran, the vocal richness, and falsetto, of Sam Smith, and the swagger of Justin Timberlake. New EP High, simmers and stirs with its electro-R&B influence. Each of the six tracks on the EP stands on their own with its own emotional fingerprint. Reminiscent of a romance in limbo or that point in a love story where you come to an eye-opening yet liberating revelation or that moment of complete clarity in an utter snowstorm. That is the feeling High evokes.
1000x (feat. Broods) is a sweet, falsetto dripping affirmation of love, reminiscent of Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years. Georgia Nott’s voice glides along Jarryd’s as smooth as silk, alongside twinkling synths. How Do We Make It, is a soulful, piano-driven, mid-tempo ballad, that has a similar DNA to a Brian McKnight record, and it questions the “how?”, in the ‘who, what, where, why and how?’ of love. When there are a million things standing in the way, you always try to find that one reason to stay, but when you do, how do you make it work?
More concepts of love are explored through this record, in the seductive Claim My Love, the temptation of this woman sounds like a religious experience that stands on par with Hozier’s Take Me To Church. Organs skim through the track ever so subtly through the gospel timbred vocal rhythm. “All the things that we do in the name of love/And the things that we do to avoid it/All the things that we do in the name of love/And the things that we do to destroy it.” is an accompanying lyric to the surrender of Can’t Help It, that encapsulates the unpredictability of love and our response to it, and how usually, we aren’t in charge of either.
If you’re not feeling at least a little High by the closing (EP title named) track, High, with its high soaring vocal pitches on the word “high”, and the back and forth staccato of the strings, then part of me thinks that perhaps you’ve never been in love before. And with the inclusion of the line, “When the look in your eyes says more about me than about you”, Jarryd points out the irony that sometimes you can see more of yourself or learn more about yourself when in love, than you even learn about the other person, when the reflection in someone else’s eye helps you see yourself better than before, it may even help you love the other person better than before. Jarryd James through High is just taking us on a high-flying tour of what it can be like to be in love, and I for one enjoyed the musical view.