Since starting his song writing career 8 years ago Jason Clarke has certainly been making a name for himself. Having supported the likes of Paolo Nutini, Shayne Ward and Ryan Sheridan, this 26 year old Belfast based singer songwriter enjoyed great success with his 2011 EP Sparks. However he’s not stopping for breath just yet as his second EP Undercover is already available free on Soundcloud and will be officially released on 8th May.
The professionalism of the production on his latest work is really a testament to Jason’s experience in the music industry and, of course, to the musical talent of his band. There are so many dimensions to this EP that each listen brings with it a new appreciation; combining powerful riffs with laid- back vocals and emotive lyrics in simple statements. Perhaps I’m just craving caffeine but I can’t help but compare Jason’s voice to a caffe mocha: smooth, seductive and satisfying but also with an added kick.
The first track ‘Undercover’ begins by asking us if Jason can buy us a drink and immediately our courtship has begun. This tasty little track is a pop song with just enough rock to give it a deeper strength and show off Clarke’s vocals. ‘Lovin you’ has been carried forward from the first EP Sparks and while I am not always a fan of doubling up, it cannot be denied that this beautiful song deserves a second listen. While ‘Building Bridges’ is my least favourite of the four, it is still a great piece with a stunning piano accompaniment. A soft simplistic song, by the end it’s really grown on me and the quiet finish perfectly matches the tone.
Have a look on Youtube and you’ll find the video for my stand out track of the EP ‘Gotta Go’, with a few recognisable Belfast sights. The chorus is catchy, the guitar work fantastic and the backing vocals really add to the power of the song. As odd a compliment as it may seem I can’t help but compare Jason to American soul singer Tracy Chapman; give it a listen and you’ll see what I mean.
You need this EP in your life. The Northern Ireland music scene is full to the brim with great indie bands and electro/dubstep artists but it’s great to know that other genres are thriving too. Without a doubt an artist for Belfast to be proud of.
◀ STANDOUT ⁞ Gotta Go ▶
◀ CONNECTION ⁞ Paolo Nutini ▶