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"Stupid Trick" - Jess Chalker | Review

Feel the warm embrace of an 80s teen coming-of-age film with “Stupid Trick” by Jess Chalker -- an indie pop rock song that encompasses the innocence of young love in that signature uptempo, warm, big-arena-reverb kind of way that the 80s are known for.

Imagine for a moment that indie pop sensations Bleachers and MisterWives had a baby: that baby would be “Stupid Trick”. But make no mistake, Chalker isn’t merely riding the wave of the 80s-esque indie pop resurgence, she’s forging a new path within it. The way the instrumentation builds from the first verse until its sonic release at the chorus is cinematic, most notably in the pre-chorus, when most instruments are stripped away for just a moment to really strain that tension. The first verse is just over a minute long, a rather long time to get to the chorus in pop music, but absolutely no time is wasted here. It was cleverly used to build that tension in order to make the chorus that much more satisfying.

This guitar-led tune is the closing song in the movie, playing over the scene where characters are graduating and the audience gets a montage of all the incredible things they go off to do. It’s that satisfying moment where the character you were rooting for all along gets what they truly deserve. All that to say it’s a happy ending song, through and through. The warm synths add a dreamlike quality to it, and the reverb on Chalker’s full alto tone packs a hearty punch.

“Stupid Trick” is paired with a music video heavily inspired by the 1956 French film “The Red Balloon,” adding a humorous and wholesome charm to an already joyous and effervescent song.

Jess Chalker is no stranger to the music industry. The London-based, Australian singer/songwriter who is best known for her part in new-wave duo We Are the Brave, where she received wide critical acclaim for her voice, songwriting, and production, but it doesn’t stop there. She was a part of the Grammy award winning team that co-wrote the lead single of Lisa Loeb’s children’s album, Feel What U Feel. Most recently, she wrote “Darkest Hours,” performed by Tate McRae, for the Amazon original film “Panic”. Her upcoming retro-inspired album, Hemispheres, will cover a wide range of lyrical topics ranging from depression to self-love, and is expected November 5th 2021.

Written by Jess Ward

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