REVIEW: Jade Helliwell – ‘Infatuation’ (EP)

‘Infatuation’ is the new EP from BCMA Female Vocalist Of The Year, Jade Helliwell, a much-anticipated release for the dedicated British country fan base. Jade’s set for a busy summer this year, with appearances confirmed at the likes of Nashville Meets London, Buckle & Boots and FSA, where she’ll inevitably be performing the new material to the passionate UK festival-goers. She certainly had one eye on the live shows during the creation of ‘Infatuation’; five tracks packed with power and emotion that will translate very well to a live audience, and I’m looking forward to hearing her showcase the new material in the coming months.

For a full review of the EP’s lead single ‘By My Side’, click here: http://yourlifeinasong.com/single-review-jade-helliwell-by-my-side

The EP kicks off with the latest single, ‘Repeat’. I’m really digging this one – in my opinion, it’s the best track Jade has released to date. It’s a wonderful fusion of pop and country with a Kelsea Ballerini, chart-oriented vibe that I’m sure would prove popular on both sides of the pond. As far as UK country songs go, I haven’t heard many better and it’s up there with much of the country material you’ll hear on the Radio 2 playlist. It’s an absolute belter for crowd participation with an undeniably infectious chorus and hook, definitely destined to be an instant fan favourite.

‘Numb’ is the most recognisably ‘country’ offering on the EP, beginning with a lone acoustic guitar, building to a powerful crescendo for the chorus. If you needed reminding of Jade’s phenomenal vocal range, look no further than this track. This heartache story is full of emotion and Jade delivers it with great feeling and passion. I also like the control she has over her vocal here; Jade uses that signature vibrato more sparingly here as her killer weapon, and it works so much better.

‘Boom Tick’ is a return to the pop-country style of ‘Repeat’ and draws inspiration from the likes of Maddie and Tae with a tale of young love, full of fun and vibrance. The bouncy chorus is just so catchy and you can’t help tapping your feet! Then, the pace is slowed down a little to close the EP with ‘When I’m Sleeping’, a passionate depiction of “everything that I am feeling, every time you think I’m sleeping”. This one will be a killer track with a full band at the festivals, and she’ll pull off those high parts with no sweat!

With this ‘Infatuation’ EP, Jade has certainly raised the bar from her previous projects and Rob Gulston of Holloway Road has done a very good job with the production. I’d still prefer a little bit more vocal control at times in terms of reigning in the vibrato, but the songs themselves are instantly loveable and she’s without doubt one of the brightest talents on the UK scene. I look forward to seeing her taking the festivals by storm!

Dan Wharton
@LifeInASong_Dan