Single Review: Claire-Jayne's ‘Phasing’
Middlesbrough singer-songwriter Claire-Jayne debuts her EP opener with class and ambience.
With a soft, club-like vibe, what immediately becomes apparent is the delicate mix of ambience and reverb balancing with forefront rough keys to create a mix you perk your ears up for. Claire’s low-pitched, accessible voice brings a reality to her tone that blends well with the mix; especially the artistic backing vocals and tracking of her lead voice. The mood created is somewhere between the opening of a Netflix original murder series and a Bond song at the start of the movie.
Her melodic phrasing is irregular but welcome, as the rhythm isn’t necessarily consonant – sometimes almost syncopated – making a welcome departure to what would normally be standardised, predictable timings, though it sometimes brings rhythmic conflict between the keys and vocals.
This song is a joint collaboration between Claire and her producer Jonny Hooker, and within the song-writing one can hear a blues influence in the pre-chorus with the blue notes sliding down, lending themselves very well to Claire’s amatory tone. There’s a strong hook in the chorus, giving variation and another direction to the vocal lines and dynamism lending an edge to the contour of the track.
There’s great layering here; evidence of strong song-writing, a certain honesty about her tone and even through a complex mix, a simplicity within the music that draws in nearby ears.
The song itself could maybe have benefitted from a bridge, or middle eight, to diversify the tonality and texture, but maybe what Claire wanted was the contrast of deep ambience in the verse and smooth energy in the chorus. If so, full marks.
Claire’s got a lot under her belt; a 2017 Miss Tees Valley finalist, an Open Mic UK Area and Regional finalist in 2015 and Winner of the Heather Terry Memorial Music Award 2016.
So it makes sense that she release an EP of her own, and we can expect more of the same well-mixed, well-written and well-orchestrated original music that will no doubt result in the artist firmly establishing her own style. Personally, I’m looking forward to the rest of the album.