I’ll be the first to confess that Soul, R&B and Jazz, mostly from Scandinavia, are genres I have recently come to. Predominately since writing for this site. That said, I know what I like. And I like this five-track e.p. Blossom from the wonderfully named Jez_Ebel. I like it a lot.
Perhaps it is because it sits on the more indie edge of soul, that it is spacious and chilled, shot through with understated groove and beguiling sonic experimentation, that it appeals. Perhaps it is because there is something charming and disarmingly innocent in Jez_Ebel ‘s vocals. Perhaps it is just a collection of great songs, ones which echo with sounds of the past whilst feeling nothing other than modern and of-the-moment. Maybe it is all these things and more.
You’ll Get Over It sets thing up nicely, kicking off with bubbling electronic waves of music, gentle beats and bass pulses, always leaving Jez_Ebel’s addictive vocals the star of the show. And if you detect something slightly retro and 60’s infused in that opening song, it is a vibe which really comes together on Caramel Lips, smooth and sultry soulful, chamber-pop but with the strings and orchestration replaced by synths and samples.
The title track is a joyous and upbeat centre-piece and In Her Eyes is a slightly quirky blend of off-kilter retro-pop and chilled soul-infused indie.
Jez_Ebel has put out a vibrant video (see below) to accompany this song – a celebration of youth and freedom, love and, dare I say lust, a sensual, sexy, modern and, to some perhaps slightly controversial, visual accompaniment which perfectly underscores not just this song but the e.p. as a whole.
Proceedings round off with Elskling, a charming and lilting electro-lullaby totally living up to its title, which translates as Sweetheart.
For many, this record will sit on the fringes of what they might consider soul music. But everything has to move with the times and Blossom is the sound of generic traditions finding new space and new technologies to explore and in doing so adds a wonderful new facet to the sonic diamond that we call soul music. As always, it is in the fringes that the real fun and experimentation is to be found, the music that feeds the future and draws new acolytes to the musical cause.
In such places, you will find artists such as Jez_Ebel, and because of that, you will always find people like me too.
BLOSSOM EP Released 4 Dec 2020
Perhaps it is just a collection of great songs, ones which echo with sounds of the past whilst feeling nothing other than modern and of-the-moment. Maybe it is all these things and more. I like it a lot.