“The music industry isn’t producing any pop worth listening to.” How often do you hear that? People long for yesteryear. Hell, they long for yesterDAY, when you could at least find Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos on the charts—women with rich, strong voices who neither warbled nor allowed rap-breaks in the middle of their songs.
Enter Jade McNelis. “All In The Fables” is more than an EP. It’s a composition, clearly plotted from beginning to end, dense, filling, lush and complex. And although she hails from Montreal, she avoids art-rock pretense and inaccessible lyrics, instead singing songs of the human condition. Perhaps it’s due to her having been adopted by Florida parents after having been born in Taiwan, but Jade shows an understanding of emotion that isn’t common in indie pop.
Produced by Chris (“The Stars”) Seligman and Drew (“Stars,” “The Dears,” “Death From Above 1979”) Malamud, Fables treads the line between piano ballads and electronica with the skills of Beck, but with vocal chops to boot. But what about the supporting cast? Well, they’re all solid, indie-trained artists as well, including Murray (“The Dears”) Lightburn and Gregory (“The Stills”) Paquet on guitar, with Andrew (“The Slip”) Barr on drums. Just one f’rinstance: The track “Life in Grey” has the acoustic-piano vibe of so many ‘90s alt-rock songstresses, but unlike many songs of that era, it thankfully and wisely kicks in before it gets dull or weird. Most of the songs on the album are like that: Just unpredictable enough to be interesting without being offbeat.
For fans of: Sia, Rufus Wainwright, Kate Bush, Tori and Sarah, and maybe even Beck.
Life in Grey-Jade McNelis