Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Reviews:: Jade McNelis All the Fables

Remember that scene in High Fidelity when Barry is convincing a guy to pick up the Jesus and Mary Chain record?
Barry: How about the Jesus and Mary Chain?
Barry's Customer: They always seemed...
Barry: They always seemed what? They always seemed really great is what they always seemed. They picked up where your precious Echo left off, and you're sitting around complaining about no more Echo albums!

Well, after embracing the new Jade McNelis EP – All the Fables – I feel like I’m trying to convince the masses that she’s picked up right where the rest of the Montreal collective (the Stars, Metric, the Dears etc.) left off, but no one seems to be noticing. Jade McNelis is a Florida native who migrated North, landed in Montreal and found a home with a stable of talented musicians, including Chris Seligman, Murray Lightburn and Andrew Barr.

Jade – born in Taiwan – has been playing piano since she could walk and despite her obvious skill (or maybe because of it?), she manages to avoid the trap of most young piano based artists and creates an icy, hard edged as opposed to a summery, sugar coated radio pop. Jade’s lyrics take on an almost fairy tale style (she said she was heavily influenced by Aesop’s tales), but the dark textures and swirls add a maturity to the morals in a Pan’s Labyrinth style.

She’s already writing songs you wouldn't expect to hear from a twenty-year old, and I think she’s benefiting from the touches of some seasoned indie rockers. Murray’s guitar work (especially the jangle on Lies and Locks) and Chris’ fingers in the mix really keep this debut EP on track. If she’s this good already, it’s not hard to picture her reaching the same status as other prominent female chanteuses like Chan Marshall.

Vocally, her range and tones are strikingly similar to Emily Haines solo work, but the songs are in no way derivative. You can’t help but think of Doctor Blind, but the intricate piano work and more uptempo electronics really beefs up the mix. While Emily purposely stripped down her sound, Jade went the opposite direction by adding layers to keep the sound thick.

Don't tell anyone you don't own "Blonde on Blonde". It's gonna be okay.
MP3:: Lies and Locks
Video:: Wins

Web site :: more tracks :: label

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Posted at 11:36 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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