Jennifer Stewart describes a battle between self-doubt and finding confidence in her newest single, “Dragging Me Down.” It’s an anthem about reaching for contentment in a perplexing world. When the chorus hits, you can feel the breeze in your hair, but the song itself feels like more than just a lighthearted, summertime stroll. In fact, it reaffirms Stewart’s pop chops and reveals more of what she has to offer to her growing audience.
The foundation of “Dragging Me Down” is built on a partnership between a single-note guitar riff, a full-throated bass line, and a tight, soft-pedaled groove. The guitar tone has that retro quality we’re hearing in modern pop-rock from folks like Harry Styles; the bass part brings to mind an image of Paul McCartney’s violin bass; the drum kit sounds Motown-esque—unobtrusive and splashy, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the engineer’s accomplishment of capturing a beautiful, natural acoustic-guitar sound. Tones aside though, what makes the song so listenable is its layers. Each one is interesting. Strip pieces away and find that nothing in the track is without purpose. From the vocal melody over to the reverberating guitar riff and down to the poppy rhythm section—every part can stand alone.
Stewart’s voice makes her stand out, and you can hear why in this new single. It’s deep, alluring, and versatile—comparable to heavy-hitting pop divas like Dua Lipa. Its quality and precision give life to every detail of the melody. She demonstrates her control in every line. She’s more than a solid leader, but what makes her voice even more intriguing is its potential to be supportive or even harmonize with different sounding voices in the form of a duet perhaps. You can really hear it in this song’s bridge, and it promises success with future collaborations.
Scottish singer/songwriter Jennifer Stewart is a refreshing incomer to the indie-pop genre. Her debut single, “Cool,” saw support from BBC Introducing and the taste-making Spotify editors. It’s an ear for melody and a flawless voice that sets Stewart apart from her peers. Her small but strong catalog has already shown auspicious capability and foreshadows success throughout the UK and beyond.
Written by Matt Kalicky