One of my all-time favourite quotes is from John Green’s fantastic YA novel, The Fault in Our Stars:
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
Being in the grasps of such evangelical zeal is a fantastic feeling. On discovering those particularly brilliant books, everything else is pushed out of mind. All that matters in that moment is that you absorb that piece of art and share it with the world.
I’ve often thought that, as a bookworm and over-enthusiastic fan of music, I should consider writing reviews. But reviews are a form of writing that I’ve always struggled with. As those of you who have been reading my A to Z Albums music blog will know, I prefer to discuss music in terms of my related feelings and memories, rather than publicly taking a more critical stance. Whilst my reviewing skills are something I’m trying to work on, I prefer to simply share the things which give me that true evangelical zeal. Besides, when in the grasps of that zeal I am left with very little choice. These books, these songs, these paintings, these programmes, these films demand to be shared.
So it’s without further ado that I introduce one such artist whose music has filled me with evangelical zeal…
The Next Big Thing: Jake Downs
Taking influence from musicians like Kate Bush, Florence Welch, Laura Marling and Bjork, Jake Downs mixes his classical training with his love of pop to produce something dangerously close to perfection.
Jake’s debut single, Seize the Water, was released just under a month ago. Unlike some debuts, Seize the Water doesn’t merely show potential. Jake’s excellence is already firmly established with his ethereal vocals, beautifully arranged strings and clever lyrics.
Seize the Water tells a story of heartbreak but remains uplifting and empowering in its assurance that such heartbreak is a rite of passage which eventually leads to a newfound positivity:
“But the grass is always greener every way you look these days,
There’s always something more, something better.”
As I write, Seize the Water’s beautifully shot video, which features Jake’s hometown Devon, has a mere 6037 hits on YouTube. Yet I am certain that those views will surely be flying high in the next few months. I really hope Jake gets the publicity he deserves and I, for one, cannot wait to see what he does next.