Hopefully you read the interview we did with Jakil from when they performed at Sin City earlier in October, but in case you missed it, Roisin O’Connor has also written a review of their latest EP, Swings, which is out on iTunes from today (October 17th).
After seeing them live at Sin City, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Jakil’s latest EP, Swings. They had such a good range of songs in their live set it must have been a nightmare picking just five to put on the album, but they’ve definitely managed to choose the ones that best represent their talent, all of which are very professionally recorded.
The cover art for the album is good. There might be a lack of swish graphics like you’d see on the artwork for an established mainstream band, but the design by Jessica Rutterford reflects the style of the music: raw, artistic and emotional. All songs have been penned by the band, and while the lyrics don’t look like much written down on the inside cover; once the music starts you can see (or should that be hear?) why they’ve built up such a good following.
The CD begins with Swings and Daffodils, my personal favourite, with a beautiful guitar intro and lyrics performed in Kieran O’Brien’s strong, clear voice. The lyrics in this are simple, but effective and slightly nostalgic, with a brilliant riff during the chorus.
Keep Me Sunny, the video of which was featured in the interview, is another great track, but quite different from the first, with a faster tempo and different themes. I can also hear a Jeff Buckley influence (Mojo Pin in particular) in there somewhere. The band makes more use of the fantastic harmony between voices in this one, and there’s a better vocal range from O’Brien.
Break for the Border is another, not so obvious change in sound; there’s a bit of a Mark Knopfler/Dire Straits guitar twang during the chorus which is great, with O’Brien hitting a fantastic high note towards the end of the song. The official video for the song where the band is being chased around the countryside by some crazy farmers is at the bottom of this review, so make sure you take a look.
Shy is good, not my favourite but still a great listen, with a faltering rhythm in the background that works with the tone and theme of the song. And finally there’s Landlocked, which probably has the best lyrics out of the five, along with a very slight Kings of Leon sound.
All in all, an excellent, well put-together EP that is sure to appeal to Jakil’s fans, and hopefully earn them a good deal of new ones as well.
Want to let us know what you think of Jakil, or know a new band in Swansea you reckon we should check out? Leave a comment, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.