JONES’ ‘New York’ EP illustrates she doesn’t need flashy production, or a full band in order to allow herself to shine.
East London singer JONES is known for her ability to experiment and her new EP is proof. With a selection of songs steeped in soul, heartache and blissful tenderness, JONES has journeyed from love to loss and back again and makes us all the wiser for listening to her feelings as she pours them out for the world to hear.
New York is the second installment in a trio of acoustic EPs each dedicated to a different one of her favourite cities. Ever entrancing, JONES showcases her raw talent. Backed mainly by a piano or a guitar on the songs, her voice radiates a heavenly velvet quality that is both timeless and timely. From experimenting with R&B, jazz, electronic, pop and more on her debut album to mashing up dance and soul on its follow-up singles, JONES has never fit perfectly into one category. The four songs on New York demonstrate she doesn’t need flashy production, or a full band in order to allow herself to shine.
Listen: ‘New York’ – JONES
The first song, “Silver Screen” touches on searching for what JONES wants out of life, especially love. She wants the kind of love we see in the movies, that perfect, charming enticing kind that makes us desire the perfect life of a heroine. It’s subtle and sweet and warm. You can feel the longing in her voice, which is refined and pure.
But I’m looking for love, love underneath
All of the words we choose to speak
I’m looking for love, love like on a silver screen
I wonder if love, love is looking for me
JONES is a rare singer who can take gargantuan emotions, and filter them down into something so intimate, it is impossible not to connect with each lyric. Her voice commands you listen, and not because she feels the need to belt out an Adele-style ballad to draw out a reaction. It’s something much more simple at play. She acknowledges there are many small moments such as the touch of a hand, that possesses the power to ignite the a slow-burn romance.
On the second track, “Waterfalls” JONES paints a scene of messy sheets and flushed skin. There’s admiration, lust, adoration and everything all bound up together by a melody that echoes in one’s head long after the song is finished. She croons dreamily, creating a world where a bed is an ocean and all the listener has to do is dive in.
When you can’t sleep at night
I can make it right
Oh baby when I touch your body
I just wanna be closer to
You are mine tonight
Burn like fireflies
Oh baby when I touch your body
“If You’re Gonna Love Somebody” is the most enticing song on the EP, as JONES proclaims she is the one her lover has been looking for. She croons about uncertainty, spinning a classic tale of unrequited feelings: she is invested and lays it all out on the table but cannot tell if she is setting herself up for disappointment. Her voice never wavers proving her confidence in her own feelings, which are steadfast and true. All she can do is hope he feels the same.
JONES’ lovelorn songs are often her richest, as her authenticity is impossible to ignore and translates so clearly and completely through her songwriting that you can feel what she feels alongside her. She refuses to be lulled into the trap of boring and dreary ballads that have no substance. Instead, simple piano amplifies her yearning, growing into a magical few minutes that are passionate and ambitious.
I can’t tell what you were thinking
I hope that you feel what I’m feeling
Another one of JONES’ more melodically-pleasing songs, “Worst Nightmare” is so pretty, it sounds less like a sassy promise of breaking someone’s heart, and more like a tentative warning. It’s jazz-tinged structure and soulful delivery begs for comparisons to the playful sounds of Corinne Bailey Rae on her second album. She coyly remarks that his heart is hers to toy with, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
Get you head over heels
Heart beating out of your chest
Guaranteed you were mine
‘Cause you know I do it best
Though New York is only 4 songs, its superb quality makes up for what it lacks in quantity. The subtle gracefulness is inherent to each track. As a whole, New York perfects a daydream centered in love and shaped by the sense of hope and excitement that only a place like New York can inspire.
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