Danielle Bellas – ‘Starship’
The soothing sounds of 90s R&B have been missing from the airwaves for far too long, but Danielle Bellas’ debut single, ‘Starship’, reclaims that lost era. Revealing a natural talent, Bellas’ lucid yet determined vocals are a testament to her story. Upping sticks from London to Sydney in order to pursue a musical career that her life in England would not allow, a sensuous desire and spark is present in Bellas’ foray into untested waters. Nowhere is this more evident than in the chorus, where delicately balanced vocal overlays lay you down and feed you oversized grapes while wafting you with a canopy of fig leaves from all angles.
The influence of infamous producers Jud Mahoney and Natalie DeLucia is clear, capturing a sound that revels equally in the thud of the plodding bass line and the highs of the synthesised melody line. And although ‘Starship’ lacks that huge moment of punch, that isn’t really what the song’s about; what it lacks in terms of raucous energy it more than makes up for in terms of silkiness.
Bellas is planning to release further singles over the coming months as she looks to storm both US and UK shores. Let’s hope she continues to show off a pristine production value and develop her vocal range.
Reckless Jacks – ‘Guide You in the Dark’
Sometimes it’s the minimal intricacies, the subtle shifts that count. ‘Guide You in the Dark’, the third single from Reckless Jacks, is a shining yet modest example of this. The song doesn’t take long to hook you with its teasing, hi-hat heavy drum beat, or its succulent, resonating guitar riff, the perfect backdrop to introduce you to Mathieu Bertin’s distinctive voice.
The initial success of ‘Guide You in the Dark’ is in its withheld nature, revealing only that which it needs or wants to reveal. But from what was originally suppressed, ‘Guide You in the Dark’ explodes into life. Again, Reckless Jacks show their prowess in chorus-construction, combining a simple, catchy and gaudy melody with ghostly backing vocals to provide a heady atmosphere that explodes into life during the song’s euphoric bridge and final chorus.
If Reckless Jacks truly hoped to guide us in the dark, then they have done so here with flying, flashing, and illuminating colours.