Blair Jollands

7 Blood

(Glowb Records)

Here is brand new album from Blair Jollands. He is a pleasant fellow to meet and seems to centre his sound around classic romantic vocal styles.

7 Blood the lead track has an insistent conga-fuelled core with emphatic ensemble vocal, soft funk chording and string arrangement style stolen from Gene Page’s work for the late great Barry White. Plus stabs of electric piano. The overall impact is pop-gospel. On to the almost doowop croon of I’ll Remember You with shadowing female vocal. It’s like a 50s jukebox pick, down to the slivers of tremelo’d amp electric guitar, but a much fuller sound with the thick strings almost threatening to overpower the song.

Not Enough is an emphatic number with full-on singing and an electro-pop almost European backdrop and splinters of harmonica back in the mix. A cool trumpet counterpoint fights to be heard over keys and mouth harp. Could work as an Italian romcom theme! Next up is Burning Man again features a male-female lead vocal over what sounds like a ticking clock. The reverb on the singing gives a slightly unsettling ambience to the performance and it does sound cinematic, like the previous cut. A tinge of Annie Lennox, perhaps?

Black Diamond reeks of Bond movies somehow..maybe it’s the swooning strings. The melody has that European tinge and the arrangement rocks out. Probably the best vocal in the programme and possibly a song for the Scot Walker fans. Following this is Mojacar Moon being a reggae outing with dub trumpets. Here the singing is full-blooded and layered, the song itself sounds like Eddy Grant pitching at Eurovision!

Revelations goes acoustic funk at a brisk tempo with the notes held on the vocal in contrast to the business of the backing. The memorable chorus is flung out with almost religious fervour and a harsh guitar break adds to the rawness of the vibe. I Will Carry You has almost grime drumming over skeletal acoustic guitar picking and is the track I would select to illustrate Blair’s style. A nice touch of romantic yearning in there but the relentless percussion makes this one an uneasy listen.

Drifting Song is a much more haunting composition with a by-the-riverbank feel and strong vocal delivery. Perhaps his Nick Drake / Jeff Buckley moment..the strings sweeping in underlining this notion. Restless Soul completes the set. Rich harmonica leads the way on a folky ramble not a huge distance from Curse Of Lono. It’s hard to resist singing along. By far my favourite track through the Dylanish organ is something of a cliché.

These are songs bashed out with extraordinary power but to these ears rather too often at the expense of band interplay and rise and fall. The passion is beyond doubt, the delivery a matter of taste. His determination gives this material his own stamp, certainly.

Pete Sargeant



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(Thanks to the Hush PR crew)

Blair Jollands' new album '7 Blood' is out now on Glowb Records.

You can watch the official music video for the single 'I'll Remember You' in this article. 

For more information visit his official website here: http://bit.ly/2JtxOVW