If you are looking for a subjective soundtrack for the end of the world, Jakob Kupferberg has just what you need. His latest EP Sweet Surrender is a dash of reckoning with a side of understanding that life is precious and our time in this world is limited. Through the five tracks of the EP, he looks to express everything that we normally suppress and encourage us to step out of our comfort zones.
To create this soundtrack, he draws on a range of influences and combines their styles with some politically fuelled anger. Using resounding emotional sensitivity, he draws you into the emotions and issues of life.
The EP starts with ‘A Letter to Caroline’ which is a confession to Kupferberg’s future grandchild. The guitar line of the opening fills you with a sense of reflection. The almost whispered vocal delivery gives an intimate feeling to the verses of the track. However, this swings for the chorus as the tempo picks up and hits a more self-deprecating tone. There is also a touch of aggression in the chorus that works perfectly with the lyrics.
‘Sudafed’ also uses a gentle guitar line to draw you into the look at mental health. Kupferberg’s vocals are soft at the start luring you into an easy vibe before you are sent into a bluesy psychedelic spiral on the chorus. The swing in the song is a great sonic representation of how mental health issues affect people. There are these vibrating guitar notes that send you soaring through the song while the vocals bolster the contrasting emotions.
The topic moves to a larger scale with ‘Sefina’s Song’ which explores the forces of nature and climate change. The sound of waves in the opening sets the tone of the song and gives you an idea of where it is going. The lyrics paint an idyllic picture that takes a sad turn. You are thrown into the world of Sefina who pays the price of climate change. The harmonisations on the chorus add a little something to the emotional hit of the single. The strings also create a haunting vibe to the depth of the melody.
‘It’s (Never) Too Late for Love’ takes another emotional turn as it considers the endurance of love. The strings in the opening set an interesting tone for the song and continue to add this emotional layer throughout the track. The increase in tempo as the song progresses has a good vibe to it. This vibe fills you with positive emotions while the lyrics showcase how love can endure everything.
The EP ends with the title track ‘Sweet Surrender’ which is a cry to an unnamed spiritual entity. This is a great song that rounds off the EP and encapsulates the messaging and emotions of the rest of the tracks. The haunting strings thread between the guitar line while Kupferberg’s vocals effortlessly draw you into the sweet surrender of the lyrics. There is a swing to a more rock sound that is seamless and you can’t help but get into the groove.
Jakob Kupferberg takes you through a reckoning with climate change, mental health and the endurance of love in his EP Sweet Surrender. Each song looks at a different topic and uses a different style to address them. Combining strings, guitars and folk-rock sensibilities, you are captivated from start to finish.