Toronto’s Jessie Reyez is an undeniable breath of fresh air when it comes to today’s music scene, which can sometimes be very predictable, but this songstress has provided us with an incredibly authentic 7-track project, produced by Tim Suby, offering insane depth, anger and raw emotions from start to finish. Taking lyrical influences from a cheating ex, and her music from her Colombian roots, this EP really does offer a unique range of music.
The album begins with track “F**k It” – a fiery introduction from Reyez herself, appearing to be slightly unstable when facing the aftermath of getting cheated on, boasting about destroying her ex lovers Corvette, instead of blowing his brains out. Although she comes across very threatening, singing about her not so pleasant thoughts “off with your head, all in my day dreams“, she certainly does it with some grace, as her soulful vocals flow so gently throughout.
“Shutter Island” is daunting, chilling and very spooky with the thriller type crawling of the music giving the track an anxious feel like something is about to rapidly unravel. It is a perfect aftermath to track ‘Fuck It’, almost like a sequence of stories, where she was previously hurt about being cheating on, but now she has gone a tad crazy as a result of this.
Her range is wonderfully evident in this song, twisting and turning in different directions, just like her emotions during her unstable relationship. She has the insane ability to make you as the listener focus on every word that she is telling, and relate to every story that she is inviting you into.
Although only two tracks into this whirlwind of a record, it is already evident that Reyez is slightly a crazy “loca Colombiana”, but there is no other track that portrays this image better than “Blue Ribbon“, which completely exploits any flows and repetitive melodies that most songs have, but rather plays around with lots of different sound effects behind her high pitch squeals.
It’s an exhilarating listen, like you are on a theme park ride, offering messages about her relationships with people and a warning anyone who goes near here family that she may shoot you, (I’d listen, it doesn’t seem like she’s one to mess with!)
But behind a build up of anger and a slight explosion of psychopathic behavior is always a soft and emotional realization, which is what track “Figures” is all about. To sing with raw anger and emotion on your debut record is exactly the reason it got so many people’s heads turning.
This simple melody allows you to clearly understand everything she is saying, and boy does it sound like her life is dependent on every word. It’s chilling to hear the pain in her voice, but this record highlights her seriously captivating talent – going from “Shutter Island” to this stripped back number proves that she is all about the voice, and what a wonderful one she has indeed.
There is no other artist like Jessie Reyez whom solely focuses on the lyrics and the painful stories and anger behind them. She doesn’t necessarily need any extravagant arrangements behind her vocals to tell her story, her vocals and lyrics work strongly enough for you, as the listener to feel what she is saying.
“Gatekeeper” is a perfect example of this and for me the most important record on the album, discussing the issues of fame for females in the music industry, focusing on the lack of importance that talent actually has, but rather the importance of who you are sleeping with and how you are sexualizing yourself in order to get famous. Her music is empowering and ridiculously truthful making her as a musician a huge statement to the music scene.
Jessie Reyez Kiddo EP is out now, purchase it on iTunes here.
Words by Mia Woloszczynska
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