Some people have to really work at things and others like Ottawa singer/songwriter Christine Jakel just have an immense talent inside of them and they get it easier than others do. I’m speaking here to the fact that Jakel began to play classical piano from age five and then earned a Grade 9 certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
She also learned to play guitar by just picking it up from musically inclined family members. To read between the lines one thing that you will see (or not) is the sheer determination that is evident here. But this hard work and determination shows in the compositions of her songs on her debut five-song EP Satellite Moons.
These five songs on Satellite Moons drift from pop rock standards to dreamy pop and jazzy jolts of energy. Her vocals are a candy coated falsetto that is toothache sweet and akin to the first birds of morning. The record opens with swoony alt-country and swaggering folk-rock of “Satellite Moons.”
Within a few verses it clearly unfolds to be a complicatedly constructed hit with its pitter patter drums and jangly guitar all intermingling beautifully with Jakel’s vocals. She plays around with vocal effects on “Victims of Habit” a sparkling piece of pop grandeur that shows Jakel is not afraid to push the boundaries of where her songs can go.
On “Like a Child” Jakel dips her toes into the waters of the jazz singer territory. It’s proves to be the perfect territory for her as the song, the best of the five, is instantly catchy head bobbing, finger snapping affair that stays with you long after it’s over. Up to now these songs have been sweet and light but that all changes on the dark and sinister sounding “Don’t Say My Name” on which Jakel shows that she is not just some giddy girl writing only relatable-sweet love songs but that when she wants she can erupt with wicked force.
In a world where female pop music has become oversexed and more about album packaging and over-produced radio singles that aren’t meant to last more than a few months, Satellite Moons is a breath of fresh air. Anyone who’s looking for substance in their music will surely find plenty of it on this record.
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