Jay Blanes has been on a journey. Not just geographically, from Barcelona to London, but musically. 2017’s Found In April marked his first serious steps as recording artist, but that was never going to be enough. Never one to stand still, Blanes took the opportunity to use that EP as a base, both in terms of his career and creatively. What followed was a period of experimentation, not only stylistically, but with song writing and production as well. The result of that hard work is new EP Fireworks.
It is an EP which finds Blanes at the top of his game. It easy to hear that this record wasn’t just thrown together. It was carefully crafted, with all of the elements of years of musical experiments mixed into one project. Broadly speaking the EP could be described as ‘Indie-Folk’ but there’s more to it than that. It’s layered, with a rich texture, capable of switching moods on a dime. Forget your preconceptions, Jay Blanes is more than just one man and a guitar.
The EP sets into motion with the title track, and arguably things don’t get better than this. Blanes has a smooth as silk, full-bodied vocal style and that really shines here. He has a knack of running words together as he sings, which further helps create the smooth feel, although on the flip side it means it can sometimes be difficult to pick out individual lyrics. This will bother some more than others, but it’s an important note.
The pace quickens with arrival of Natalie and it’s skipping melody, before falling again for the for the ballad There Was A Song. It’s an EP built on ebb and flow and it encompasses changing emotion incredibly well. There are moments where Blanes is happy, upbeat and almost playful such as in Take You Home. But that is contrasted incredibly well in the more downtempo ballads where he touches up regret, nostalgia and sadness. The impact of this is a project that feels very human and very real. Blanes’ emotion isn’t for effect, it feels sincere, you believe him.
“Fireworks not only succeeds but thrives as A project purely because it’s authentic.”
The EP ends on the stunning I’m Sorry with its slow and delicate piano melody. This leads perfectly into a rousing and passionate chorus. It’s a track which aided by superb production sweeps you off your feet like a romantic summer walk in the park. Again, the contrast between the instrumentation and the lyrical themes give the song a feeling of honesty and realness.
Fireworks not only succeeds but thrives as a project purely because it’s authentic. The tempo changes between songs reflect changing moods and emotions, and that means it’s a record which gently swirls and glides from your speakers.
Jay Blanes is here to stay, and he is only going to keep moving forwards, evolving his sound and most importantly, getting better.
Watch the video for Fireworks:
3. There Was A Song
4. Take You Home
5. I’m Sorry
Listen to the EP: