Jade Jackson “Wilderness” (ANTI-, 2019)

Jade Jackson’s sophomore album ‘Wilderness’ is her first music release in two years. The twelve track album focuses heavily on self-discovery using country and folk rock to aid in her storytelling. The first single released from the album ‘Bottle It Up’ is best described as a toe-tapper of a tune – a statement of independence while recognising those parts of a relationship worth valuing. Aided with humorous lyrics like: “I don’t need a man’s hands to open the jar/ Where I’ve captured and kept safe/The things that I’m willing to share with you babe” the song is fun and lighthearted, although the concluding line of the chorus, “If ever I get lonely gonna pour myself a drink”, isn’t probably one of which her doctor would approve.

Secrets’, one of the more darker tracks on the album tells a story of addiction, loss and how the failure to fulfil your dreams means being stuck in the same place, with lyrics like “All the walls inside me fell down/I don’t want my bones to be buried in this town”. The fact that Jade Jackson sustained serious injuries after a hiking accident shortly after her 20th birthday and developed an addiction to prescription painkillers afterwards, suggests she’s singing very much from first-hand experience.

The real highlight of the album has to be Jackson’s voice, particularly on two of the record’s ballads, ‘Dust’ and ‘Shiver’, where she’s accompanied by little more than a plaintively strummed, acoustic guitar. Arguably one of the best vocalists on the current music scene today, it’s her singing combined with some quality songwriting that make this album a success.

With ‘Wilderness’, Jade Jackson has braved the depths of her soul and charted a course for personal survival, although the title of the album suggests her destination is still somewhat unknown.

Incredibly strong and haunting vocals really make Jackson's new album
7/10

Author: Elise Kennedy

Avid country music fan and journalism student at Edinburgh Napier University

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