Album Review: "Clarity" by James Hersey


Hey guys!

Aren't there genre combinations which just surprise you?
You know, something you didn't really expect to work but for some reason it does?

Today I get to review a record which kind of caused that certain feeling of surprise when I first listened to it.

Artist: James Hersey
Title: Clarity
Genre: Electronic, Singer/Songwriter
Label: Lichtdicht Records
Release: 27th February 2015
hits rating: 7/10

James Hersey is a singer/songwriter from Vienna, Austria.
The first thing you'll notice, when you listen to his music, is the variety of genres he mixes together.
He blends singer/songwriter elements with electronic synth beats. Some songs could be classified as indie-pop, some as alternative.

His love for multiple genres started to develop in his childhood. At the age of nine years James learned to play the cello and drums. Four years later he got his first e-guitar.
He was part of his school's choir and played in punkbands afterwards. Through school mates he soon learned more about hip hop.

James released his first EP, the James Hersey EP, in 2010. It was written and recorded by himself. The song "Promises" got him his first radio plays.

With his first earned money James travelled to London, New York, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas - looking for inspiration.
The results of his inspiration travels are present on his EP "Twelve" (released in 2012) which he recorded after his return to Vienna.

Last month he released his debut album "Clarity", so let's talk about it!

1) Don't Say Maybe
2) Dreamcatcher
3) Coming Over
4) Running Out
5) If You Love Me
6) What I've Done
7) Interlude (by Narou)
8) Let Go (feat. Manu Delago)
9) Victoria
10) Follow
11) Juliet
12) You've Come So Far
13) Keep It Even (Take 3)

Electronic paired with singer/songwriter elements - not your average kind of combination, is it?

James combines cool beats with warm and inviting guitar chords. Opener "Don't Say Maybe" focuses on funky electric guitar bits supported by forward marching drum beats and relaxed synths. 

"Dreamcatcher" keeps this calm vibe the opener set. These two songs make a great first two songs on the album, simply because they make you notice all elements James Hersey uses in his songs: soft yet warm vocals, guitar instrumentals mixed with classical drum beats and cleverly used sprinkles of synths. 

"What I've Done", the first official single off of the album, walks on the fine line of being a deep and honest song with uplifting instrumental bits.
Again, James' remarkable voice makes it a joy to listen to and I can totally imagine this song blasting through the speakers whilst driving around on a sunny day.

To sum it up: As I'm sitting here, typing this review, it's a very sunny (and surprisingly warm!) Spring-like day. I think the combination of James' uplifting tunes and this kind of weather works very well.
It seems like grey and rainy days don't really let the songs spread out and get to you. But hey, Spring is around the corner, so we've got plenty of time to listen to "Clarity".

You should listen to these tracks: Dreamcatcher, What I've Done, Juliet, Keep It Even

James Hersey online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: James Hersey press kit


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