With her single ‘By Your Side’, Annika Jayne is once again putting us under her soothing spell. A duet with Nathan Peter Illes, the single tells the story of falling in love only for the potential relationship to slip through your fingers. Originally written in 1994, the song draws on Jayne’s own experience of falling in love with a man named Stéphane who sadly had to leave before anything could really develop.
Jayne always intended to have a second voice on the chorus, but working with Illes led her to the idea of a duet. Bringing the smooth sound she inundated us with in ‘Praying Hands’ and ‘The Eagle Flies Alone’, she merges it with his folk tones for an unforgettable story. The first song off her EP Nostalgia, it has you excited for the other memories she is able to pluck to life.
‘By Your Side’ opens with gentle waves of acoustic guitar before a melancholic harmonica sings against it. There is a soft nostalgia to the tones that makes you think of rainy days as you reminisce about everything that used to be. This feeling is perfectly picked up by the lyrics of the track. The melody is really wonderful as the cello hits when Illes’ vocals come in offering two sides of the story. There are a few layers to the melody that come together for a rich river of memories and emotions long faded.
Jayne’s vocals are the first to enter as she sets the scene for the single and fills you with those rainy day emotions that shine in the melody. Her performance has an aching edge as she questions how unfair life can be. Illes’ vocals offer a deeper flow as he acknowledges what could have been but brings a sense of understanding that time was not on their side. Their voices blend wonderfully on the chorus to send shivers through your body while tugging at your heart with the emotional contemplation of what-ifs.
Annika Jayne and Nathan Peter Illes fill you with the sad considerations of what could have been in the gentle flows of ‘By Your Side’. The duet tells two sides of the story while offering contrasting views. Jayne brings the heartache of missed potential while Illes counters with the understanding that some things are not meant to be.