Music Review: Tension by JAAG

© Ty Metcalfe

Tension is the latest track by Newbury Park-based melody maker JAAG. Jeremiah Gray is the vocalist, bassist, pianist, writer and arranger for JAAG. The influences for this project comes from Radiohead and Muse and surprisingly David Bowie. 

Recorded in Sherman Oaks, California in collaboration with Frank Rosato, Tension is the fifth release from the alternative outfit and is also a duet with upcoming singer London Corbett.  

Tension opens with a double-tracked vocal from London Corbett. This instantly has the listener intrigued and acts a sirens call for you to continue listening. The instrumentation builds and comes to a quick stop to allow the ending of the vocal line to shine. This starts again with the inclusion of a cello and a heavy bass. 

The instrumentation is definitely the best part of this track for me. It works perfectly for the name of the release, Tension as it does exactly that, builds tension. There is a sense of mystery to this track and the instrumentation alongside the vocals is mesmerising.

© Ty Metcalfe

Although the instrumentation really makes this track for me, it would be nowhere without the vocals. There is something so hauntingly beautiful about London Corbett’s vocal tone that I find myself wanting to listen to this song on repeat. The stacked vocal harmonies only add to this haunting vibe. These work as a sirens call that pulls you further into this track and does not let go until the very end.  

Moving onto the chorus you are met with a section with an instant appeal which carries a melody you will be humming for days. The soaring vocals and powerful instrumentation are hypnotising and you find that you cannot pull yourself away. The dulcet tones of Jeremiah Gray have joined the mix at this point and the blend of both vocal tones is simply stunning. Jeremiah and London’s voices were made to go together.

The ending of this track comes round all too quickly. An abrupt ending snaps you out of the stupor that the spellbinding vocals created and you are left with the hypnotising melody playing on a loop inside your head. 

Tension encourages its listener to not shy away from difficulties but to embrace them and the struggle that they may bring. Work with that struggle and turn it into a lesson for self-growth. Take that leap of faith and bend the rules. 

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