J.P. Edwards – ‘Hearticulate’

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this evening’s Independent Spotlight, we’re going to be focusing our gaze on a rising independent singer songwriter, J.P. Edwards. Hailing from Texas, he’s been described as smooth and soulful – an artist with an endeavor to create innovative music that spans a variety of engaging themes. His debut EP is ‘Hearticulate,’ an eight song journey through Edwards’ sonic palette. It drops on October 16, but here on the Spotlight, we have the opportunity to delve into six of its tunes before it releases. Let’s get right into it.

In preparation for this review, I listened to the six tunes quite a few times through. Beginning with ‘World Tour,’ I was brought into a soundscape that immediately compelled me. Edwards is indeed soulful, very much so, in fact. He elegantly infuses pop and soul influence into a remarkably unique product. More so, his lyricism is absolutely excellent. He wittily and humbly remarks on the idea of a ‘world tour.’ He’d rather just play for his muse. (A cute girl, no doubt.) It’s an infectious song, one that’s particularly compelling due to its modest, honest nature.

‘Drop Everything’ continues Edwards’ jaunt through songs that’ll make the women swoon. It may be the best song of the bunch for quite a few reasons. Most notably – who is that girl singing?! She has an absolutely stunning voice, one that accentuates Edwards magnificently. The banter between the two is superb and intensely memorable. As for the instrumentation, the simplistic acoustic backing adds to the magic.

‘Ties’ is an interesting number in the middle of the setlist. It isn’t instantly sing-song like the former tracks, but rather, it digs deeper into Edwards’ lyrical ability. He doesn’t just write a damn fine hook, he’s also pretty insightful. The lyricism of ‘Ties’ is a highlight of the EP. That said, there are two other notable highlights: the electric guitar solo and Edwards’ increasingly impressive vocal register.

As I begin to wrap things up, a few other standouts are worth noting. ‘Destinations’ really appealed to my deep love of acoustic and folk inspired music. It’s less of the latter, but it’s undoubtedly a simplistic soundscape accented by a soft finger plucked acoustic guitar. You just can’t beat that. ‘Grave’ offers one of the most fascinating instrumentations in ‘Hearticulate.’ It’s jazzy, very well performed, and offers a stark contrast from the rest of the album.

Finally, let’s briefly touch on ‘Stargazing.’ This atmospheric ballad is beautifully produced. The composition is quite remarkably; perhaps even the strongest of the outing. Actually, that’s probably an apt note to end the review on: this EP is produced insanely well. A well-produced album is only as good as its artist, though. Fortunately, J.P. Edwards is one of the most promising artists we’ve ever covered here on the Spotlight. October 16. Mark it on your calendar.

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