This is an album that does not disappoint.
After putting in the groundwork writing music from the age of 12 and releasing several EPs within the last two years, Phase is Jack Garratt’s first official studio album. Amongst his accomplishments he is a singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. However most recently Jack Garratt has been awarded with the Brits Critics’ Choice Award for 2016, which has secured his status as one of the most anticipated newcomers this year. Garratt also holds a place on The Edge’s List of 2016.
With influences from the likes of Frank Ocean, Kanye West, David Bowie and Justin Timberlake, Phase demonstrates Garratt’s creates a successful fusion of different music genres, such as R&B, electronica and soul on his 12 track album. What is most striking about Phase is its diversity. Garratt appears to effortlessly switch between uplifting, bass driven, electronic songs, such as ‘Far Cry’ and ‘Fire’, to melodic, minimalistic tracks like ‘I Know All What I do’ and ‘My House Is Your Home’.
Phase begins with ‘Coalesce (Synesthesia Pt. II)’. This opening track offers an enchanting electronic feel where Garratt promises that he will “open up your mind” in this experimental, alternative album. ‘Coalesce (Synesthesia Pt. II)’ and ‘Synesthesia Pt. III’ form the second and third parts to ‘Synesthesia, Pt. I’, which was released on Garratt’s Synesthesiac EP back in 2015. Garratt is referring to the condition in which people visualise different colours and shapes in response to music and sounds. As stated in a previous interview, Garratt seems to once again be attempting to encourage his listeners to experience his music in a different light by provoking a varied emotional response.
In a successful pursuit to create an uplifting and feel good song, the eighth track on the album entitled ‘Surprise Yourself’ is full of dynamic contrast and memorable beats. Garratt demonstrates a notably delicate quality in his vocal range by singing in a falsetto style during the verses. Here, he is able to reflect on the idea of opening up to new experiences and self-discovery. Yet the vulnerable quality displayed in the verses juxtaposes with the dynamically powerful chorus where the song really takes off. Different instruments are playing alongside the vocal passage to create an energetic and punchy chorus line. ‘Surprise Yourself’ would seem to be one of the most attractive and, perhaps, most immediate songs on the album.
Phase concludes with ‘My House Is Your Home’. Unlike some of the other electronic tracks on the album, such as ‘Worry’, ‘My House Is Your Home’ is a soulful and minimalistic piece. In this song Garratt is only accompanied by a piano playing in a quasi-blues style. This song exemplifies Garratt’s diverse talent at being able to produce a vast variety of musical genres, catering to almost every taste.
As a first album, Phase is an incredibly impressive introduction to a new form of music that is sure to capture everyone’s attention. This is bound to be the start of a huge year for Jack Garratt.
Phase will be released on Friday 19th February via Island.