If your rock tastes are a little closer to the classic acoustic rock of yesteryear than heavy metal, look no further than the gorgeous storytelling of Jade Jackson. The Californian singer-songwriter shows off her years of dedication to music and her skill at crafting musical stories with her debut album Gilded.
Within the first few seconds of the opening track ‘Aden’, the raw twang of Jackson’s vocals brings out the beauty and complexity of her writing. The opening lyrics “I grew up my father’s daughter / He said don’t take no shit from no one,” kick off the intricate tales of Jackson’s youth. They’re backed by the blues-rock-inspired guitars and the more country-style fiddles and acoustic instruments, all of this communicating the raw emotional sound Jackson specialises in.
This is shown even more clearly with ‘Back When’. The mood of this song is what really makes it stand out. There are callbacks to rock, folk, country and everything in between to emphasise a story that will hit home for listeners from all walks of life.
Opening with a clean, classic guitar riff reminiscent of The Eagles, standout track ‘Salt To Sugar’ features the best showcase of both grit and softness in Jackson’s vocals. The line “He came forth to cast out my demons / But in secret I asked them to stay” just proves how skillful her songwriting is; Jackson has a talent for putting new spins on clichés. From the lyric “Let me walk over the bridges I’ve burned” to “Deep inside she knew their lives were gonna crash”, she excels in twisting words to make her songs all that more fascinating.
The key word for this album is genuine. Between the honesty of the stories told in the lyrics and the uncut beauty of Jackson’s voice, there’s no doubt that this is a direct look into the soul of the singer. It connects with you, leaving a genuine impression in a way that’s hard to find from acoustic rock these days. Gilded is classy and always truthful, and gives us plenty of hope for Jade Jackson’s future efforts.
Gilded by Jade Jackson is available 19th May via Anti- Records.