REVIEW: Jarryd James’ New EP Will Leave You on a “High”

When I heard Jarryd James was going to release an EP so soon after his debut album, I can’t tell you how excited I was. While scrolling through my Facebook news feed that day, I came to a picture of the EP’s cover.

“The last six months have been pretty emotional and I worked with some incredible musicians and songwriters. Stoked for you guys to finally hear these songs. High EP, out July 29,” the words above the image read loud and clear.

The EP bore the same name as the final song on James’ album, which also features as the final song on the EP. It allows a continuation between each of them and created a bond between each of the stories they told. It was like opening a book to a new chapter in his musical journey with five fresh tracks to take in.

It opens with his latest single featuring BROODS 1000x. Although I have heard it before, it seems to get better and better with each listen. This song seems to have the same effect as a refreshing gust of wind on a warm day. Its power soars between the soulful vocals and rich melody as the romantic tone flows through the words. It’s the perfect way to show the listener exactly what they are in for.

How Do We Make It was the first of the new tracks that I hadn’t heard yet. As soon as it started, all I could do was sit back, close my eyes and take it all in. The slow sounds of the percussion and piano chimed their way through the intro as James began to sing about his relationship struggles. The vivid descriptions and emotion in his falsetto explore the feeling of slowly growing apart from someone you love and the desire to revive a relationship that “no one can save”.

The chilled out sounds continue with Claim My Love. The desperation flows through the song with a slightly sinister sound mixed with a crashing passion; exactly like falling back in love with someone who has hurt you before. You know it’s wrong, but it so hard to resist. “Don’t let me go back in// don’t let me go down with you// don’t let me fall again// don’t let me fall again.” 

Moving on to Burning Out, a song which can have a double meaning. While it is probably written to be about falling out of love, I interpreted it differently. For me as a creative, I see it as a song about feeling overworked and losing your passion to create the things you care about. As someone who has experienced these ‘burnt out’ feelings in full swing and seen the consequences of it, it allowed me to connect to this song in my own unique way and put those feelings into words. Where was it when I needed it?

The last of the five new tracks in Can’t Help It brings the hopelessness of love to life for the final time before he reflects on the relationship that was had in High. The slow melody allows a focus on the beautiful lyrics that explore the weakness that begs us to hang on to things that cause so much pain. “Cross my heart and hope to try// I know tears will fall// You know I can’t help it.”

High is out now via Universal Music.

Image: Idolator