Known for her skills with a fiddle and talent in the traditional Irish music scene, Sweet Jayne has already has a long list of accomplishments in the industry. While releasing several traditional Irish albums, working as a session musician with Dizmation and Stefan Murphy, and performing with Frankie Gavin and The Chieftains, Jayne is well-versed in her traditional sound. This is all good and well, but we now have a solo project to add to this list as Sweet Jayne shares her debut solo single ‘Looking Glass’.
Incorporating elements of blues, and alternative rock, Sweet Jayne showcases her eclecticism and innovativeness as an artist. While her vocals are prominent, the unique combination of blues-influenced drums, interspersed piano and percussion creates a hazy ambience with an avante-garde soundscape. Of course, Jayne incorporates her skilled fiddle amidst the unusual melody but without overpowering the rest of the sonic experience. What I find intriguing, particularly with the instrumentation, is how it has both a flowing and jarring element making the track smooth with an abruptness.
Noting Joan Armatrading as one of her influences, ‘Looking Glass’ has the power of Armatrading; however, I find the overall effect to be more reminiscent of Joni Mitchell and The Dresden Dolls. Her obscure lilt can easily be compared to Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls along with her “stream of consciousness” narrative drawing one in and leaving you flabbergasted. Described by Jayne as “a reawakening of my creative spirit in a way”, ‘Looking Glass’ is reflective but with lingering empowerment and optimism in the charming lyricism. Being a great fan of The Dresden Dolls, I find myself captivated by this Irish artist’s experimental music.
In addition to the single, Sweet Jayne released an official music video for ‘Looking Glass’. Simplistic and personal, the video has a sense of a video diary following her journey along a canal, to the ocean and through the woods. Superimposing her face on the physical scenes introduces that “looking glass” visual element throughout the song. Even with the intricate production, ‘Looking Glass’ has a chilled vibe and will stick in your brain for hours afterward.