20-year-old singer-songwriter James Jack, former frontman of indie-rock band Echo Chamber, has been leaving his mark on the music industry for a while now. Releasing his debut single Can We Talk? back in August last year, James kept up the high standard that his debut single set, with the second release Crush and now with his third single. Both Crush and Can We Talk? have deservedly received local radio features and I can see the same happening with James’ latest track.
Titled Spike Me, the third single is lined up for release on January 9th and was written and produced by James and Jake Loosemore during the UK’s initial lockdown. With melodies inspired by icons such as The Beatles, the track has a unique sound to it while still paying tribute to its inspiration. James told me that “Spike Me is about the search for anything that makes you feel more alive” and in times like this, will be relatable to a lot of people.
A slow and calm introduction quickly gives way to a lively drum beat which is mixed with a string and an equally animated layer of guitar. This immediately gives the track the recognisable sound that both Can We Talk? and Crush have, making Spike Me fit well with James’ previous singles. As the song goes on, however, the sound and mood it gives off are noticeably darker than it has been in either of the earlier singles. The melody of the tune is almost eerie and when combined with the first few lyrics, “Spike me, I wanna feel the pain” the track gives off very different vibes compared to what the introduction has us expecting.
I think this works really well, adding another dimension to the track and to James’ growing collection of music. With clear and easy-to-pick-up lyrics, following along is effortless which makes the single really enjoyable to listen to. This allows the guitar and drums to take the lead in the melody which is a really effective way of creating a three-dimensional track. All three of James’ singles have a different sound to their backings, which is an incredibly efficient way of showing just how much he’s capable of.
Of course, the track wouldn't be complete without an instrumental section. This one definitely doesn't disappoint! The instrumental section comes three-quarters of the way through the song and splits it up nicely without ruining the flow or slowing the pace before smoothly leading to the end of the track. Showing off the skill of everyone involved, the backing track as a whole demonstrates an exceptional amount of talent alongside the vocals.
Overall, Spike Me is a very different and very effective track. It has everything it needs, an amazing backing, and amazing vocals, and has been mixed and produced professionally. I really enjoyed listening to it and can’t wait to see what will come next! I’ve said previously that I think we can expect big things from James Jack and I stick by that, he’s definitely one to watch!
I can’t think of a better way to start the new year off than giving the single a listen, or five, when it’s released on January 9th. If you can’t wait that long to hear James’ amazing music, check out Can We Talk? and Crush! Both are available on Spotify and are definitely worth listening to.
Check out James' music here!
Words by Chloe Pollard.