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"Box" - Jesse Harding | Review

Gentle guitar strumming coupled with a romantic, atmospheric layer of vocal harmonies creates a cozy, warm place of escapism in Jesse Harding’s new single, “Box,” off his debut album “Little Death.”

A somber melody is sung with a voice soft as a caring whisper, “Box” feels like a warm blanket on a cold autumn day-- with leaves changing around you, perhaps mist and fog flooding the air outside-- but within the confines of the song, you drift to a place where you are safe, welcome, and loved. Its hushed, mellow aesthetic is akin to beloved indie folk artists like Iron & Wine, Ray LaMontagne, and S. Carey.

In many ways, “Box” is like a crisp breeze; refreshing, keen, and sharp. Its rhythm, demonstrated through a quiet, sleepy acoustic guitar, is steady yet ever-cascading. It flows in a natural uptempo but moves swiftly and with purpose. Similarly, the breathy vocals feel brimful with emotion and intellect, but wisp by as if they were blowing through and around you. Its production is purposeful with the mixing of instruments and vocals- they work together to build an all-encompassing dreamy, meditative atmosphere. Finally, the tender piano keys dance lightly on air, like autumn leaves trickling down one-by-one, carried pleasantly by the cool, breezy gust.

These elements at play make for a song that’s light and familiar, yet original and genuine. It can be nestled comfortably in autumn or coffeeshop playlists, but still stand out to the ear as something new, sentimental, and imaginative. Best listened to with a cup of hot chocolate, or dare I say, a pumpkin spice latte. All that’s missing is the initial drop of the record needle.

Ontario-native Jesse Harding wrote, recorded, and produced his debut album “Little Death” by himself in a week’s time. Exploring a wide range of emotions and personal experiences, Harding is dedicated to bringing you a listening experience that is truly authentic to him and his artistry. The multi-instrumentalist and producer is known for melancholic melodies and brash, honest lyrics, where he wants listeners to “escape to a comfortable familiar place, a place to make peace with feelings often considered painful and unwanted,” as he so tenderly puts it. “Little Death” is out everywhere October 9th, 2020.

Written by Jess Ward

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