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Jerad Finck - New Kids (2017)

Photo by Michael Sparks Keegan

Written by Charles Hatton, posted by Jason Hillenburg

Jerad Finck might be a handsome young man to many, but his appeal isn’t strictly superficial. Since his debut on the scene, Finck has proven that he’s a performer, singer, and writer eager to learn and grow. His time touring with high profile acts like Sister Hazel has informed more than just his artistic approach. He’s learned much about how to maintain a strong connection to his growing fan base, how to connect with exponentially expanding crowds, and what route to take in further developing his art so it reaches as many people as possible. His songwriting and performing talents are formidable enough that he cannot simply be confined to the world of pop music – instead, the Spokane, Washington native is clearly intent on communicating personal statements through songs and, hopefully, crafting songs capable of standing the test of time rather than being filed away as pleasing, but ultimately disposable, pop. His latest single “New Kids” is certainly a decisive step in that direction.

It is evocative, if nothing else. Finck and his musical collaborators have created a track with a near ideal length replete with echoing guitars, atmospheric percussion, and an introspective feel that, nevertheless, never seems remote from the listener’s experience. His vocals are equally effective. Finck has tremendous phrasing that shows obvious attention to every word. The stretching out of certain words, the way he snaps off others, these sort of artistic and musical decisions enhance an already fine lyric and fall in lockstep with the musical arrangement. He also knows when to leave well enough alone – Finck pulls in his technique at certain points and simply sings the lines with outright emotion that helps create a number of memorable peaks in the performance while other moments when his vocals grow hushed, understated in a successful effort to convey moments of genuine sensitivity.

The guitar work is particularly effective. Finck came to the world of pop and rock via a youthful upbringing with and love for jazz and, as a result, textures and sensible composition are clearly important to him. “New Kids” has an unity of mood and purpose. Nothing here sounds arbitrary and, despite its obvious construction, the performance breathes with rewarding freshness and spontaneity. This is definitely a song with obvious commercial potential and, despite its personal qualities, the accessibility Finck aspires to ensures that it will likely get a hearing from a wide audience. This is an artist incapable of limiting himself, who works best when inspired, but the obvious marks of craftsmanship invested in the track’s creation also reflects well on its performer. Jerad Finck is a well rounded musical artist in every sense of the word and “New Kids” is his most impressive achievement yet.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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