Jarryd James: Do You Remember

Talent takes time to cultivate, with a following to gather through a consistent gig diary. There is no such thing as an overnight success.

Or is there?

Brisbane singer-songwriter Jarryd James has seemingly come out of nowhere and smashed triple j apart with his stunning debut single Do You Remember, a track very James Blake-esque in nature, co-written with kiwi producer Joel Little. Joel himself comes with quite the pedigree, emerging in the international arena with Golden Age Studio as co-writer, producer, recorder and mixer of Lorde’s EP The Love Club, where singles Royals and Tennis Club have since become the stuff of legend. Joel has gone on to work as a songwriter and producer with Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding and Daniel Johns, where his golden touch carries through to Jarryd’s haunting electronic track. 

A certain amount of scepticism foreshadows any artist with their studio-produced tracks – particularly if preceded by the calibre of one as high up as Golden Age Studio. This day and age of music technology propelled Britney Spears into superstardom after all. So for many, a certain amount of reservation generally applies until its heard in the live format. We certainly wouldn’t wish to devalue Golden Age Studio’s credibility and choice of artists to collaborate with, so the opportunity to hear Jarryd live was delightedly dished up by the Woolly Mammoth Alehouse, the sell out show from the Mane Stage forming part of his debut Australian headline tour.

In an intimate setting surrounded by drums, bass and sampler with Jarryd doubling up on his frontline vocal duties with guitar, the one-hour set established the scene for a surprising sense of musicianship. There’s certainly no lack of talent there, but it’s a very special kind of skill that tranquilly whispers of its accomplishments rather than howls about it; its keenness and polish muted and sheathed through sheer will and humility. Jarryd releases a subdued strength and energy that is wonderfully self-contained. Just like the track that has smashed his name around the nation, his set was a framework of emotive lyrics combined with deep basslines and profound bass drum tones for minimal textures building superbly on the spaces between the notes. Jarryd James presents organic instrumentation beautifully melded to the format of electronic and digital. It’s so seamless, one could call it organital.

Indeed, to many, Jarryd James has come from nowhere, but the roots of music run deep – and vast. Having previously played with Matt Corby‘s live band, the 2014 APRA Awards saw the then Jarryd Klapper accompanied by 5THS covering Matt’s Resolutionthe track taking out APRA’s Song Of The Year Award. That’s a rather striking launch to the music recording industry. In saying that though, record labels had been aware of Jarryd since his time with local band Holland, the four piece outfit writing, recording and touring between 2006 – 2012 – though the foundations contained a very roots sound. What has always remained consistent has been that incredibly unique voice – pure golden tones smoothly segueing between tender falsettos and blistering rich hues. Over the last two years, Jarryd has undergone a name change, featured on 5THS‘s single Sell It To Me, supported New Zealand duo Broods (another Golden Age Studio winner) – Jarryd’s gig at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory seeing Matt Corby accompanying on keys – as well as supporting Angus and Julia Stone on their recent January Australian tour.

This all follows the announcement of an east coast tour with Jarryd due to surge through Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in July. Given his incredible popularity through triple j, as Do You Remember hits across the million mark in online streams while reaching #2 on the ARIA charts and following his first round of headlining shows selling out, his accelerated success is hardly surprising. But there’s more than just one song to this exceedingly modest Brisbane artist. He might be immediately recognised for Do You Remember right now, but all eyes are riveted on his future.

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