Jay Blanes is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who started out busking in 2019. He was a regular at Trafalgar Square before COVID-19 hit and he was forced to retreat to make music in his bedroom. His latest EP Fireworks is the result of his experiences over the last year including moving from LA to London and busking.
The five-track EP is a very personal one with each song reflecting something from Blanes’ life. This personal connection has created a stronger personality in the music. You can also hear how his experiences have defined his sound and songwriting.
The first track and title track is ‘Fireworks’ which draws you in with a gentle and hauntingly beautiful piano opening. Blanes’ vocals smoothly flow over you and send shivers down your spine. There is something about his performance that grips you and leaves you feeling emotional. This song sets some high expectations for the rest of the EP.
‘Natalie’ has a happier note to the melody after the sad opening track. The melody has these lively clapping notes that make you want to move to the song. The vocals are as fun as the melody while the lyrics have an imploring tone to them. This song will leave you with a smile on your face and is an easy to listen to feel-good tune.
‘There Was A Song’ takes a slower turn but does not go to back to the sadness of ‘Fireworks’. The melody has this relaxing thread that flows through it that just puts you at ease. There is a slight change in the melody as the pace slightly increases for Blane’s vocals to soar through the air. While this song is not sad, there is a hint of regret weaving its way between the notes. The violins on the track add to the regret in the lyrics that lament a missed opportunity.
‘Take You Home’ has this funky clicking beat that gets your foot tapping to the rhythm from the first moment. This is another fun song that you will probably find yourself singing along to. The lively melody combines with the happiness in the lyrics. The piano solo is also super fun and engaging. If you are looking for a song that can pick you up and make you want to dance, this is the one.
The last song is ‘I’m Sorry’ which is the deepest off the EP and drenches you in nostalgia and depression. This is possibly the most personal song on the EP and you can hear that in the performance. The composition of the song is different from the others with a weeping guitar cutting through you and a tear-inducing vocal performance. The raw honesty and emotion in this track is gripping and squeezes your heart.
Jay Blanes takes you through a full range of emotions including anger, nostalgia, regret and happiness on Fireworks. This EP is the perfect combination of raw honesty and sadness on ‘I’m Sorry’ and happiness on ‘Take You Home’. You are likely to feel emotionally wrung out by the end, but that is a sign of a great EP.