If Marissa Nadler, Natasha Atlas and Agnes Obel collaborated.
Jack Lena loves a dark bittersweet melody. On her debut EP ‘In The Attic’, each of the tracks has a beautifully haunted melody to it. It might be using the guitar, the piano, the violin or her voice – they all work together to create the emotion. The diversity of Jack Lena’s sound palette is what makes her stand apart. It really is like a Marissa Nadler and Agnes Obel collaboration.
Take the second track ‘Spirit of the Attic’. It opens with an extended instrumental of acoustic guitar, lilting violins and echoing piano and cymbals as a Celtic faun creeps into your ears. Add on whispery ethereal backing aahs from Lena herself and you have true alchemy. It’s in contrast to the sloshing blues of ‘Leaves of Remembrance’ which is more folk-pop focused. Its thoughtful drums are plodding but with a skip to them whilst the dark folk undertones match the bluesy singing.
‘Planetarium’ is a stunning acoustic guitar and vocal ballad played at speed with cinematic bellowing kick drums dropping bombs underneath the ethereal tones. The inclusion of sporadic harp glissandos and sad humming gives huge Agnes Obel vibes but Jack Lena isn’t afraid to sing with power over the top. Her voice has excellent range too so she can flip from mystical deep hums to higher-pitched cries in the chorus with ease. The EP closes with the harp and vocal ‘Sofia (Lullaby Version)’. Again showing that not one base instrument is enough, it’s the mixture of sound palette that emphasises all the different ways Jack Lena can ensnare you in her hazy tones. It is a beautifully Celtic Renaissance affair that fits the witchy feel the whole EP has and rounds it off with an exceptionally catch chorus hook too.
A delightful EP to let you into the world of Jack Lena, this is an upcoming singer-songwriter I fell for on the very first listen. Effortlessly beautiful and haunting in equal measure, I think we’ve discovered a future star in indie chamber folk music. I can’t wait to hear more.
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