Bring together the sounds of Kate Bush with Lana Del Rey and you have Jewelia. Hailing from Romania but now residing in the UK, this talented singer-songwriter can soothe the soul with her mellow melodies. Described by Peter Coulson (Shoreditch Radio) as an “excellent slice of modern pop”, Jewelia is making a new for herself in a stagnating pop industry. Featured on BBC Introducing, Cambridge 105, BBC Radio Kent, Obscure Sound and Indie Music Center (to name a few), she is turning heads on an international level. The latest addition to her growing discography is ‘Was It You or Was It Me?’
Inspired by a friend who had experienced a breakup, ‘Was It You or Was It Me?’ touches on heartache, despair, dejection, anxiety and plain “I hate this”. Jewelia explains that “break-ups are difficult at any time…we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve been disappointed by someone or felt like we let someone down and we beat ourselves up. Guilt is a powerful emotion that comes hand in hand with feelings of unworthiness. ‘Was It You or Was It Me?’ is about accepting and understanding one’s part in the failure of the relationship…”
Using a soft, soothing and languid melody, the piano-driven track creates a dreamy ambience in which you can easily become lost. Simplistic in its instrumentation, the single is easy to listen to but it also has a poignant intensity with the bare-bones design. I am particularly intrigued by Jewelia’s vocals – wispy and ethereal without any sense of melancholy, but it is the incorporation of melancholic nostalgia that makes the song. Teetering on the edge of innocence and painful maturity, ‘Was It You or Was It Me?’ is a sophisticated tune with a childlike naivety.
In addition to her single, Jewelia released an official music video for ‘Was It You or Was It Me?’. Quite simplistic in its style, the music video is a strong visual representation of Jewelia’s heartache – you don’t need bells and whistles to point out sadness. An image of Jewelia riding a bicycle in a yellow jumpsuit immediately induces a sense of calm joy (I mean, yellow is a happy colour). However, the juxtaposition of pleasant settings and colours enhances the lyrical elements of isolation and dejection. It is this contrary balance that I find intriguing.
Moreover, the video has a positive feature in that there are no strobe-like lighting effects. One or two image transitions but overall an easy video to watch for people with photosensitive epilepsy.