Marketed as a ‘melodic explorer’ the upcoming EP from Postcards from Jeff sells itself with high expectations. The first track is titled A House, and despite a video by music video legend Steve Glashier, the whole thing comes off a little flat.
The production of the EP is by the eponymous Jeff, who took on the role of playing, recording and mixing the tracks himself, between other jobs as a music producer. While the song has a strong melody, with a heavily processed guitar sound, there’s a lack of soaring highs and lows. The repetitive melody, accompanied by the somewhat melancholy vocals seems to lack any real power. It’s a pleasant but droaning sound, which fades into the background on repeated listening. There’s a feeling of a cinematic score to the whole piece, designed to be a background to something, rather than the main attraction. It’s a real shame as the component parts of the track are all skilfully manipulated, they just don’t combine to form the whole.
On listening to other tracks from the EP however, there’s a greater sense of combining those components to make a cohesive whole. Particularly the track Awake which combines the gravelly vocals with more upbeat melodies, and the repeating line “You know you’ll be ok” piercing through the song anthemically, rising to a low key crescendo that succeeds in holding attention through to its final bars.
…occasionally technical ability takes precedence over heart and feeling…
Clearly the songs are produced with great skill, but occasionally technical ability takes precedence over heart and feeling. It’s an interesting sound though, and one I’d be keen to hear more of – particularly if there was a greater sense of letting go, and being led by a more emotional impetus.