Chasing Jonah – Prelude – Album Review
Chills. That’s the way to start out a listen to new music if I had to choose one. A feeling that you’re about to hear something spectacular, something dynamic, something new. From the moment that lead singer Ashley Dudukovich started to sing on the new album Prelude by herself & her band Chasing Jonah…I literally had goosebumps, chills, a spine-tingle…I’ve been reviewing music a long, long time now; let me just say this as clearly as I can – when you hear the REAL deal, it’s unmistakable. Ashley, her incredible voice and her incredible songs performed and arranged perfectly…are the REAL deal; this is undeniable and absolutely breathtakingly emotionally satisfying music to listen to.
Often times the most satisfying part of my day is knowing I can hear what some people can’t…presumably why many of you read these relentlessly, and definitely why I always take what I do as seriously as I can when I’m listening to a new album. There’s no getting ahold of me…my brain is absorbed into the worlds you all present us with, and many of those sounds & atmospheres reveal our influences. You can borrow all you like; if you can make it your own through a unique creative twist, you’ll find that success you’re longing for. Listening to the opening tracks, the brilliant beginning starts with “It Wouldn’t Be Right,” and heads into the shimmering “Run,” another beautiful track – but instantly, there’s two comparisons that jumped to my mind…and I’ll admit, even I thought I might be crazy for a second.
But I said to myself…it’s like Regina Spektor went ahead and formed a band with Snow Patrol. Despite the female vocals – the tone, sentiment and emotion in the songwriting was very much similar to the outstanding quality you know and love from Snow Patrol. And to be compared to Regina Spektor? I’m extremely sorry Ashley, but it’s sparklingly accurate…and in my humble opinion like a direct comparison to the God of music Herself. I’ll throw out a challenge to the ENTIRE indie community right here and now, and I wish you all the best of luck, but just TRY and find me a better singer by the end of 2014, maybe even the decade to follow – you’re going to be extremely hard-pressed to it, Ashley’s voice is incredible enough to leave all others speechless while they listen.
Nearly…and I mean that…NEARLY equal credit needs to be given to the songwriting itself. These musical vessels carrying Ashley’s beautiful melodies to your ears are played with vibrant emotion and truly flawlessly. Listening to “How,” and “And The Clocks Moved,” realizing I’m on track five and have loved every immaculate sound I’ve heard from Chasing Jonah. There’s five left to go…and right now, Prelude could very well fit in with my best albums of this year.
“Miss Lorraine” shows a different dimension and a somewhat radical departure in the overall sound. I liked the additional instrumentation with the horns, but if I had to choose one track that might not have worked as well as the rest, this would most likely be the only option I’d come up with. While I always understand diversifying an album’s sound…it’s a fine-line to walk on to make sure it still bears that cohesiveness. This track to me, didn’t sound forced, almost the opposite…maybe too easy for them. Each of the surrounding songs, even the jaw-droppingly beautiful “As You Want To” all sound like they have every inch of Ashley’s soul and the melodic music completely invested right into it, like their lives depend on it, resulting in literally some of the most incredible recorded performances I’ve heard this year in the indie music scene, or any scene for that matter.
The atmosphere Chasing Jonah creates is marvelous, seriously. As “Til Somebody Tells Us So” begins, I get that same chill…that instantaneous feeling that I’m about to hear something incredible once again. This song is stripped-down largely in comparison to the rest, leaving Ashley to carry much of the song…and let me tell you, dear-readers, this is a lady who will NEVER disappoint you. The wonderfully creative “As Long As You Let Me Try,” that follows is another indication of the brilliance of songwriting here. Swirling with atmosphere, fantastic guitars, unique structure and of course, amazing vocals…add in some strings and you’ve got an excellent way to wind the album down in a strong, perfect way just before the final song.
Alone with an acoustic-guitar backing, Ashley begins into the final track from Prelude, and I realize that spine-tingling I’ve had hasn’t left me for a single second throughout this album. Each time they start out a new track I get chills all over again, I’m excited and I literally can’t wait to hear what comes out next. I can almost hear some Jeff Buckley in this final song, another brilliant songwriter of our time.
If this is the quality, emotion, passion and delivery we can come to expect from Chasing Jonah, consider me a gigantic fan. Hands down one of the best albums I’ve heard this year – period.
Have a listen for yourself! Consider it an early xmas present from Chasing Jonah to all of us. Seriously – I’m THANKFUL for this music – and you will be too. https://soundcloud.com/chasingjonah/sets/prelude
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