Jade The Moon
Broken Angels is available at:
24th March, 2015
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
THIS review is going to be quite to the point…
as it represents a (sapling act): one that is really starting out. Before I offer some insight (and biography), I want to raise a subject: brand-new acts. Jade The Moon is pretty much in their infancy: with few tracks (available online) it is good to witness an act- that is starting out; on the ground level. Usually- when I survey an act- they have a string of tracks under their belt: maybe a few E.P.s; an album perhaps- a pretty defined back catalogue. It is always great to see an artist JUST starting out: the initial movements are among the most exciting- the truest testament of the musician; their first steps into (the music world). Although Jade The Moon have crafted an E.P.- Habits and Hindrance- their latest track is their most prominent: the most urgent and gripping (song they have produced so far). Among the U.K.-based acts, many of us (do not see the sapling movements). When a band (or act) comes to our attention- unless we know them through social media- they are usually pretty settled: have assurance and a number of tracks. The music industry is a pretty darn tough one: with so many (new artists) flowing by the week; the chances of long-term success are undefined- artists have to work tirelessly just to get people listening to their music. The way to ensure some longevity is to go in strong: create songs (and sounds) that differ from ‘the norm.’- something that is pretty special. When I see new musicians (come through with their debut songs), I often get a familiar sensation: this type of music has been done to death; where is the originality? At the moment, the likes of Mumford & Sons and James Bay (are on critical lips) - between them there is so much bland music, it is enough to bore you to death. In fact, cast the net wider: you get the same sort of (depressing familiarity) and blandness among the current scene. It is only when you dig deeper do you discover something fascinating: songs that pop and snap; intriguing compositions; gripping sounds- music that demands repeated investigation. The music industry needs Pop/Folk-driven gentility: the fact is, there is so much of it about (we do not need any more). The moodier- and darkly bracing sounds- of the Electro.-Pop goddesses are the rarity: a hard-to-fault sensation, guaranteed to tantilise the senses. Being a fan of acts like London Grammar and FKA twigs- two very different acts- they are led by strong females: voices that come straight at you; get inside you head and heart- make you root for them. I yearn to be seduced and affected; feel empathy (and sympathy) for a musician: share their burden through the wonderful medium of music. A lot of acts attempt this- few ever succeed.
Jade The Moon is based out of Toronto (the producers of Broken Angels come from here): Jade herself hails from Vancouver. Based around south/south-west Canada, Jade The Moon is a short step from the U.S.: a market they are starting to (make impressions in). Having reviewed a lot of Canadian acts (mainly Ontario-based artists) it is nice to travel across the country: see the coming-together of reputable producers (Bad Cop // Mean Cop) and a stunning vocalist. Before I raise (another point), let me introduce Jade The Moon:
“It’s spring 2014. The moon shines brightly in downtown Toronto and 27 year old Jade Moon leaves her apartment in Parkdale. It’s very early in the morning. She starts out on one of her routine late night/early morning walks down a seemingly abandoned street. She eventually arrives at her favourite bench in a quiet corner of a neighbourhood park shop where she routinely stops to collect herself/thoughts and talk to the stars. A small town girl living autonomously and alone in a new city where the streets have all the personality and the faces have no names. She begins writing in her note book. Written at the top of the page are the words U TAKE CARE (I guess you didn’t know). The words she would write next would eventually inspire a collection of songs about the habits (GOOD or BAD) and cycles we so often find ourselves repeating whether we like it or not. Stories of Love and Hate. Stories of Ecstasy and Empathy. U Take Care specifically talks about the relationship between a woman and a man (a fictitious and almost demon like character that only exists in the mind of our story-teller) This man can only take love and is incapable of returning it. A sarcastic and poetic take on a love song... Jade The Moon Habits & Hindrance is the debut EP release for this exciting new project comprised of Vancouver’s Jade Moon (Vocal/Guitar/Piano) and Toronto Based production duo Bad Cop / / Mean Cop. The sounds are edgy. One might say that within in the current realm of popular music this project is borderline punk. The majority of the EP was recorded over a two-week period in kitchens and living rooms. Raw one take vocals make up the majority of the vocal performances on the album... Jade The Moon was created as a passion project, nothing more (or less). Born from a craving to make music free of borders and limitations and certainly with no intention to cater to current radio format. “We wanted to create without any care for song structure or content ” says Jade. We were more concerned about putting a feeling into the recording and knew that going on instinct would be our strength. This trio of creative minds admit the project was entirely whimsical and happened almost accidentally.”
Whether the project was ‘accidental’ or not, it is clear it is a special thing: a collaboration that needs to continue. The biography (and formation of Jade The Moon) sounds strangely romantic: there is heartache and pain; yet moonlight and stars are a saving grace. Having gained a reputation in Canada- and caught the eye of reviewers and writers- Jade The Moon have an exciting future: it seems there is potential to grow and expand; play across Europe- gain legions of new fans. Their upbringing (and rise) has been a Canada/U.S.-based treasure: they are starting to get some recognition further afield. Daring to be different; presenting music that is both gripping and seductive- it is hardly a surprise they are getting serious plaudits. Broken Angels is where they are now: their state of mind; Jade The Moon’s heroine lays her heart and mind out- to create something quite sensational.
When describing the track (Jade The Moon) assessed it thus:
"It was an attempt to represent musically, the feeling of fighting and F@%King and the sad truth that so many relationships are no more than that," said Moon in a statement about the song. "We wanted to create free of restrictions. Going on instinct would be our strength. There's no room for emotional barriers. Nothing to cover up.”
(Quote from http://exclaim.ca/Music/article/jade_moon-broken_angels_video)
Lush and delicate strings arrive (to beckon in Broken Angels). Like contemporaries- such as Indiana and Florence + The Machine- there is something ethereal and otherworldly. Gorgeous and serene, the listener is giving a gentle touch: they are welcomed in with delicacy and romance. The production (helmed expertly and assuredly) mixes notes together- without compromising the overall sound. Electronic nuance mingles with plinking strings; swaying aches settle alongside sharp notes- the overall effect is both natural and uplifting. When Jade arrives at the microphone, she spoons out her words: they are paced with precision and pauses- to ensure the words are both understood and effective. From the immediate stages you think about (Jade and The Moon’s) formation: looking up to the sky (from a park bench); thinking and reflecting on life. The heroine look to the moon (and starts): lost in the night, you can practically picture the scene- the composition blends wonderfully with the vocals; giving the track an effective edge. When the composition starts to swirl and rise, Jade’s voice stretches and aches. Whether speaking to a (former sweetheart) or talking about herself, words like “you are falling so gently in the sky” are delivered with insistence and urgency- the voice is both rich and aching at the same time. Building pace and momentum, the track kicks up a gear: talking of broken angels, the heroine yearns and implores- the line “help them feel love” is one of the most memorable and direct (of the song). As the backing rouses and augments- electronics get harder and the beat increases- our heroine is enraptured and gripped. The chorus is heart-pounding and anthemic- designed to unite festival crowds; get hands in the air and set the night on fire. Having built from soft (and gentle) beginnings, the song reaches its high: the mantra comes to the fore; Jade is at her most direct and enraptured. It is impossible to deny (the strength and passion) of the chorus: with quotable lyrics and fantastic production, our heroine lets her voice rise and power- building shivers and tingles a-plenty. Building the fever and fervor, the track’s crescendo ignites and sparks- you get caught up in the myriad sounds; the rapture of pace and energy- awash in the momentum of the track. As not to peak too soon, the mood settles slightly: Jade is back in reflective mood; speaking to her (former beau?) she implores: “Shiver in my arms.” It is impressive, in the way the words are delineated. Many artists would rush and power- get the words our quickly- but Jade The Moon are a different affair: the lyrics are carefully deployed; not only adding effectiveness, but ensuring the track has a great- and shifting- dynamic. What you take away from the song, is that central message: repair broken angels to help them feel love. It is a coda that is repeated (in the closing moments), imploring the listener- not only to sing along- but to remember that fact- those that are sad and heartbroken need rebuilding. It is a unique spin on a common theme: the plight of the heartbroken is hard; yet there is a chance of redemption. As the closing moments press and pervade, you are fully invested in the track: it takes repeated listens to fully appreciate (its many possibilities and meanings).
Broken Angels is a song for lovers and losers: a track that seems to speak to everyone; we have all gone through similar things (as Jade). Although the heroine has gone through tough times- and really dark places- the way that is channeled (through the track) is quite mesmerising. As it stands, E.P. plans- and release- is imminent: a chance (for the rest of the world) to see what Jade The Moon is about. In (Jade’s words), it will be something quite different:
“The lead off track 5 6 7 8 FIGHT AND FOUGHT (WE ONLY) reflects on a relationship and sets the tone for the EP, discussing the human capacity to “Love and War” with each other over and over again... Everyone involved in the recording of this album was going through major changes. A couple of us were going through extremely dark times. In fact 5 6 7 8 was created the one and only time we ever collectively wrote together. It was an attempt to represent musically, the feeling of fighting and F@%King and the sad truth that so many relationships are no more than that... The theme of cycles on this project continues with the lead-off single Broken Angels in which Jade sings an almost eerie lullaby. The distinct character of her voice is heard on this song as she sings about healing the broken hearted in hopes they may learn to love again.”
The future (for Jade The Moon) is going to be a mixture of easy and tough. Jade has plenty of beauty and appeal; mountains of potential and talent- a sound that is urgent, impassioned and nuanced. With regards (the album/record release), Jade comments:
“We based the whole album theme around the story of a girl who is unknowingly on dark and destructive path walking hand in hand with her own demons and worst enemy [herself]“. On this path she learns how to cope and heal herself yet never correcting the fact that life is a vicious cycle… Near the end of the record, she is back where she started and the only lesson she’s learned is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Jade’ differ from their peers greatly: the way instruments are combined (flutes, guitars, electronics) will spike the ear; the spectacular production brings each note (and vocal) to life. Jade’s vocals have hints of Florence Welch; the power and prowess is all there: beauty, seduction and sensitivity can be witnessed too. Broken Angels is a great starting-place (when listening to Jade The Moon) although it is clear- when their new record is out- there will be a lot of different shades- wonderful stories and soundscapes; a wonderful collection of moods and sensations. It is Jade The Moon’s songwriting- the memorable lyrics and evocative stories- that captivated me: the way (the listener) is brought into the track; the music implores you to get involved- instead of creating alienation. The social media numbers (for Jade’) may be meagre; that is something that is going to change: the act are in their early stages; making their early impressions. When their (forthcoming release) is dropped, that is all going to change: the fans will flock in; the reviews will come- Jade The Moon will no longer be lonely and heartbroken. Whether (increased fan numbers and adulation) will change Jade’s mindset- and the songwriting- is unsure (you suspect not), but I would love to see the live performance: hear those incredible vocals in their natural setting. When looking to the future, the ‘band’ see it this way:
“Honestly we created this music thinking “who would like this crazy music, so moving forward… I guess we’ll let the listeners decide what we do next.”
(Quotes sourced from http://culvertmusic.com/artist/jade-the-moon/)
It is very much up to the listener: how long (the band/act lasts) depends on how many people latch on. From the perspective of Broken Angels- the band are likely to get more fans- it seems quite bright: I think they will have a prosperous future. The early days are always exciting: there are plenty of nerves (and questions) but it is always intriguing to see- Jade The Moon have a confidence and sense of belonging that comes through in the music. In addition to performing in Canada, I hope the act troupes across (to the U.K.)- brings their music to the masses. Keep your eyes peeled- to the pages of Jade The Moon- and watch them rise (in popularity and stature). In a music world filled with bland (and dull music) it is always rewarding coming across songs like Broken Angels. A track that not only gets inside your heart- and comes from a place we have all been- but lifts the spirit. Through remarkable production; sharp songwriting- backed by tremendous vocals- it is hard to resist. Quite frankly…
WHY would you ever want to?
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