Jade Jackson – Gilded (2017) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

Jade Jackson – Gilded (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 40:29 minutes | 818 MB | Genre: Alternative, Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Anti – Epitaph

Gilded is the debut offering from California singer/songwriter Jade Jackson. It marks the arrival of a young but sophisticated talent who possesses a keen melodic ear, an innate sense of rhyme and phrasing, and a slow, syrupy sweet, slightly raspy voice to deliver it all in. She’s soaked up a wealth of influences, from Hank Williams and Lucinda Williams to Townes Van Zandt, Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, and more. She has also, especially for such a young person, a deep well of experience from which to draw from and does so with finesse.

Jade Jackson creates a sound that is simultaneously new and old, merging a youthful spiritedness with a weary storyteller’s perspective usually reserved for veteran artists. Stylistically the sound is unapologetically country rock. It merges the heartbreak and resilience of Lucinda Williams with the melodic confidence of Emmylou Harris. Hailing from the tiny town of Santa Margarita in central California, Jackson began playing guitar and writing songs at 13. By the time she had entered high school she had attracted a growing fan base with local performances and estimates that she had written over 300 songs before she graduated. Since then Jackson formed a tight knit band and together they have shared stages with such iconic artists as Merle Haggard, Rosie Flores and Dwight Yoakam. Along the way, Jade attracted the admiration of renowned Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness, who produced her debut album.

Gilded was produced by Social Distortion’s Mike Ness (the electric guitar sounds reveal this in spades), and he knows empathically when to add punch without allowing sonic clutter. While this record starts out with a wistful, lonesome ballad (“Aden”) it doesn’t remain there long. Jackson loves classic country, but she also loves punky L.A. country. Her story songs (which are among the strongest things on offer here), such as “Troubled End” and “Good Time Gone,” reflect the latter without leaving vintage honky tonk behind. Some of her most intimate songs, like “Finish Line” and “Motorcycle,” are manifestos of independence that embody mental and emotional strength. Her protagonists know plenty: they’ve learned from pain, but they also acknowledge that there’s a lot more to explore and experience, and they embrace possibility without caution. “No Guarantees” is a country waltz that accepts love as a transformative and purifying force. Guest Sara Watkins delivers a brief, rapturous fiddle break to underscore its lyric. Closer “Better Off,” with its clattering snare and ringing guitars, provides the backdrop for Jackson’s assertion that what she needs is not what this particular suitor is capable of offering. Throughout Gilded, Jackson’s insistence on freedom reflects her willingness to pay its price. In these songs, she continually offers evidence of a steely backbone balanced by a compassionate heart. She knows life is gritty, but understands that accepting it on its own terms provides the experience necessary to greet beauty and abundance with open arms. Jackson embraces everything on Gilded, and she delivers it to the listener with an album full of songs at once arresting, appealing, and poetic.

01 – Aden
02 – Back When
03 – Bridges
04 – Finish Line
05 – Troubled End
06 – Good Time Gone
07 – Salt to Sugar
08 – No Guarantees
09 – Motorcycle
10 – Gilded
11 – Better Off



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