Finding and then following up and coming bands and artists is like following the progress of a talented young footballer. You might watch them make a couple of substitute appearances, they may only be on the pitch for a handful of minutes at a time but you see that spark. There’s a little something which makes you think ‘yes, you’ve got it.’ The same happens with singers and bands. You might only hear one DIY demo track but there’s something which grabs your attention, so you keep a look out for their name and watch them grow and develop until they turn into the artist you always hoped they would.
In this case my introduction to Jess Harwood came via a feature she had on a track by a group called If You Like To Dance. Regular readers will know that I’ve got a lot of love for those guys, and I loved everything about that track that they did together. The long and short of it is that I have kept an eye on Harwood’s progress and the opportunity to review her new single was one that I wasn’t going to pass up.
Before I get into said new single I’ll just give you the lowdown on the singer herself. The 23 year old Harwood is based in Blackpool and she taught herself how to play the acoustic guitar at 17 and the piano a year later. Her latest EP is called You & I and she has featured on radio stations such as BBC 6 Music, Amazing Radio, BBC Lancashire Introducing and BBC Manchester.
I’m going to cut straight to the chase here. Real Love is a quite stunning piece of work. In keeping with the ‘love’ theme, I have fallen for this song good and proper. You will have to travel a long way and listen to a hell of a lot of music to find a track as smooth as this. The gentle yet crisp drums on the short intro ease you in, before a sparse melody and elegant vocal from Harwood lead you through the first verse into the chorus. A chorus which is catchy without feeling forced and swept forward on a tide of heartfelt lyrics, silky rhythms and a sprinkling of piano. In places the track has got a kind of Stevie Nicks style vibe and is just beautifully put together from front to back.
Real Love is a track which deserves to do big things. I honestly can’t fault it. It’s a seriously high class offering with plenty of replay value. You really can’t ask for much more.
Jess Harwood is a talent and a name well worth keeping an eye on, it’s as simple as that.
Real Love is officially released 14th January.
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