EP Review: "She Who Leaves Her Guard Down" from Jealous Tina
Evocative comfort is delivered alongside distinguishable character from Jealous Tina, with their latest body of work – "She Who Leaves Her Guard Down".
Jealous Tina’s portfolio already displays an impressive art-fused collection of what they do – and the latest EP does not disappoint. Hazy, imagery-soaked lyricism from front-woman Rosie Patton compliments a neo-soul-coated rhythm section in an alluring, charming fashion - an array of emotions presented in a subtle, yet compelling way.
"Kaleidoscope" is a lulling, romantic opening – straight to the point. Jealous Tina open with this song live, and the atmosphere in the room can be depicted as a warm, fuzzy fusion of excitement paired with bleak lyricism unpacking sombre everyday realities. Mixed by Jax Beats, the recording of this track creates an accurate depiction of how this song feels in the most unapologetic sense.
"Interim" was the leading single for this collection of songs, released earlier this year in March – it’s a clear cohesive unit of Tina’s essence and explores slow, delicate chord changes leaving generous sonic space for Rosie’s vocal to really stand out aside the luscious lower end parts of the track. In Jealous Tina fashion, the saxophone at the end polishes it off beautifully, the smooth groove to the chorus of this track will be stuck in your head with such ease.
A more desolate approach introduces "More For Me" – contrasting the other two songs energy with solemn respects for isolated lyrical imagery. Containing the title lyric of the EP, “She Who Leaves Her Guard Down” – the song holds fragile, frantic qualities with a lacklustre force of hope, and is very much genuine, authentic writing. Speaking to Rosie, this track is treasured by all in Jealous Tina as one of the most honest, natural ideas they’ve ever written. The stark contrast of the poignant introduction in comparison to the end with Rosie duelling assertive harmonised saxophone lines is a brilliant sense of development.
Brisk, enthusiastic hi-hats introduces "New York", one of the bands earlier songs that has been completely re-recorded and re-polished for the EP. This song holds a calm, storytelling quality and is undeniably strong – from polished chord stabs to silky Rhodes moments alongside Rosie's quick witted words. An electro-swing-esque outroduction placed just after a stimulating saxophone solo is thoughtfully placed to lead into the final song of the EP, with immense attention to detail in both performance and production to blend the last two tracks tastefully.
Jealous Tina round off “She Who Leaves Her Guard Down” with undeniable groove in “Sweet Eyes”. Showing off the band’s sensual side, it begins with a destabilising atmosphere pushing us into the arms of a neo-soul keys haven, reclining into Jackson’s old school tone. This particular tune combines many iconic moments in R&B, from lush chord voicings reminiscent of classic Jill Scott to tasteful stops and starts in the style of future-soul à la Hiatus Kaiyote. It expands with Rosie’s laid back rhythms and rhymes, particularly effortless here, and the growth of power in Mike’s playing. His drumming throughout the whole of the EP, but especially here, balances technical and emotional control to perfection.