Friday, 31 May 2013

Jess Harwood - I'll Find A Way - EP review

Jess Harwood

I'll Find A Way EP

DL / CD

Out Now

Self-released via Bandcamp

Jess Harwood is a twenty-year old singer-songwriter from Blackpool who's slowly but surely growing a burgeoning reputation on the live circuit in the North West.  She's recently released her debut EP I'll Find A Way via Bandcamp.


The EP features four tracks and Jess pulls off the trick that many more celebrated artists of her genre can't manage and makes each of the tracks sound different from each other whilst retaining a sound that is definitely her own. Opening track, Breaking Down, is the standout track, a gentle acoustic strum and strings deep in the mix allowing her voice to central stage, telling a tale of a lost love and the hope that it will one day return.  There's an emotional maturity to the lyrics and depth to her voice that betray her years.
On Every Little Thing, Jess uses her voice as an instrument to supplement her acoustic guitar as she tells the subject of the song that they need to "realise that the world doesn't revolve around every little thing that you do".

Third track You Don't Care sees Jess accompanied by piano in a rant about at a lover letting her down - "All I ever wanted was for you to be right there, there's a devil on my shoulder saying you don't care".

The title track I'll Find A Way completes the EP and shows a richer, deeper side to her voice and there's some very clever production that puts some harmonies right at the back of the mix.

As an EP in its own right, it's a stunning piece of work - retaining a simplicity, directness and familiarity that draws a listener in whilst stamping the personality of the artist on it is no mean trick. For a debut EP, it's almost unheard of.   The lazy comparison would be Laura Marling's early work, but that would be downplaying the quality of this record in its own right.

The EP is available in download or CD from Jess's Bandcamp site.

Her website can be found here and she is also on Twitter and Facebook.

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