By Aiden Harmitt-Williams
I don’t know a lot about Jack Garratt other than he sings very well. I heard his single The Love You’re Given on a Beats 1 show a while back and decided to look for some of his music, because I liked it (obviously) and I found that he had released an EP this year entitled Synesthesiac. Synaesthesia by the way is a “condition” for want of a better word (apparently Pharrell says that he has it) which allows one stimulant to activate an unrelated response. For example, a common one had by many including myself is that listening to music can make one see colours, each represented by a different sound. So I’m going to use this particular thing to review this EP and let you all in on what colours are popping until the music [is] stop[ing]s.
To begin we have Synesthesia Pt.1. we’ve started off with some light blue tones as soft piano and guitar swims blissfully through the ears, then out of nowhere horns of orange blaze like fires in the night through a forest. The amalgamation of sounds varying from vinyl scratches to faint background violin and the digital sounds at play make for a work of art. During the second outro the blue hues come back in along with the greens as they pulse and rise at the preparation of a drop that never comes along.
Instead it bleeds fluidly into the next song, The Love You’re Given and Garratt’s voice is heard above the repeated high pitched sample. At the moment the sounds match the cover art. The bass covers our canvas in thick greens that mix with the light blue. Digital highs bring along pink streaks over the paint. Garratt’s vocals are a falsetto well practiced and confident in its usage as it repeats throughout the second drop. I’m surprised that he fit this amount of sounds into a song that I thought was supposed to be a slow jam kind of song. I appreciate the live drums at the end.
The mixing of this project makes for an arresting listen as each song blends so well into each other. I’m glad more people are appreciating that mixing is just as important as the songs themselves. Chemical starts off with deep purples, as the deep vocals provide a depth to the production, then we get into UK Garage territory and it gets heavy with the oranges, and the purples mix with them to create a colour that I can’t think of a name for right now. Purange. That will do. The song jitters and stutters for a while, my head bobs and the paints jump like when tiny polystyrene balls are put on top of a speaker.
Deep blues for the Lonesome Valley. The bass usage is increased as the song goes on, then stagnates then hits harder than ever before. It’s quite maddening really. Trying to figure out what will happen next that is. A random saxophone may pop up and work so well you don’t want to see it leave. Then other things happen and you forget about everything else. Let’s just bring in all of the colours shall we because I can’t keep track.
I like that most of the times, I only come across good music, and while I want to be fair and review things badly. That’s just not fair when it’s too good not to give its dues. Anyway, Jack Garratt has a new fan. His name is Aiden, and you should be one too. Listen to the EP below!