Closest Relative is the moniker for the solo project for Jack O'Connell. He has been a part of the music scene in Columbus for a couple of years now and like many others wanted to take a stab at it alone. His release Messes showcases five of those songs.
There are a couple of songs on Messes that are exceptional. All of them were enjoyable but on a couple of songs he just hits all the right points. The opener “Death Metal Slow Dance” is one of those songs where he hits it out of the park. I thought the guitar work excelled in the creative and technical departments. On top of that the vocals are catchy and emotionally resonant. The song has peaks and valleys. Don’t pass up this song.
Another clear success is the hazy and dreamy “The Ghost Of Love.” His song is so nostalgic and melancholy without feeling melodramatic. The female vocals also work on this song. It reminded me of Sparklehorse at points.
Up next is “Bad Information” which is perhaps a little more straightforward but also quite infectious and upbeat. “Hello Mrs. A” has more of the inventive guitar work and catchy vocals. Don’t miss out on the lone accordion either. It works how the instrument weaves into the song.
He closes with “Runaway” and gets a little experimental and ambient. It didn’t feel like a departure from the previous songs. It worked with his style. Jack O'Connell has enough raw talent to get a much larger audience. The songs are there and he nails an elusive frequency that many attempt but can’t quite get to. Furthermore it feels almost effortless.
A little luck, hard work and marketing and you could be hearing a lot more of him.
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