Jake Berry is the type of guitar player that you can entertain you for hours on end with just his technical ability. That was the first thing that stuck out from the Sydney based musician who recently released a six-song EP entitled Glossolalia but multiple spins later was not the last.
Suffice it to say that Berry is an amazing guitarist but it’s evident that he wants to engage the listener with heartfelt songs that pull and tug at your emotions. Fortunately, Berry succeeds in doing this by presenting spacious songs that are anchored with vocals and acoustic guitar and then fleshed out with drums, cello and piano. Berry has an attractive voice and with a couple of tweaks and nudges would sound like a regurgitated top 40 carbon copy of John Mayer. The beauty is that his delivery is original enough that you wouldn’t confuse the two.
Another aspect that needs to be addressed is the quality of the recordings. Berry attempted to record himself but felt it wasn’t quite what he imagined. He eventually recorded in a professional studio and had it mastered at Sterling Sound. The results are exactly what you would expect. It sounds fantastic from top to bottom.
Berry opens up with “Mysterious,” which immediately displays his talent at the guitar. He pulls off some next level guitar picking before transitioning into a warm canvas of chords, which he sings over. The drums are strategically placed and his guitar and vocal always seemed to gain my attention.
“Waiting Room” was a clear highlight in which the guitar picking in my opinion was more technically impressive than the first song while “Nowhere” contains effective cello that adds emotional weight to the song. “Spinning Top” has the most energy amongst the batch and also felt the most “single-worthy.” Berry closes with “Carousel,” which plays into his strengths as a guitar player and a singer. It covers you with a warm coat of solace and nostalgia.
This record is a bit of a “grower.” The hooks aren't immediate and don’t jump at you right away. Berry’s music lacks a conventional, noticeable chorus and he trades it in for submersive, often poetic journeys that contain small peaks and valleys. It’s a welcome change from the traditional singer/songwriter and I applaud Berry on making a notable EP.
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